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Ontario to start next phase of reopening plan this week

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

NORTH DURHAM/KAWARTHA: The Ontario government has announced new timelines and details on the next phase of the reopening process.

At a press conference, on Monday, February 14th, Premier Doug Ford announced, the next phase of lifting COVID-19 restrictions will occur on Thursday, February 17th.

“We will remove all capacity limits, except for sporting events, concert venues and theatres, which will be capped at 50 percent. Some higher risk settings will also be capped at 25 percent,” Premier Ford stated.

Businesses which will see capacity limits removed include: restaurants and bars, gyms, meeting and event spaces and casinos. The businesses with indoor capacity limits of 25 percent include nightclubs and “restaurants where there is dancing.”

The government is also increasing gathering limits to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

There will then be further changes made by the Ontario government, on Tuesday, March 1st.

“We intend to eliminate capacity limits in all indoor public settings. At the same time, and at the recommendation of [Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore], we will lift proof of vaccination requirements for all settings,” Premier Ford said.

However, masking requirements will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

“We will need to keep masking in place for just a little bit longer. This is an important layer of protection [which] will allow us to proceed with our reopening plan safely,” the Premier explained.

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