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Premier defends decision to loosen public health measures

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

DURHAM/KAWARTHA: Ontario Premier Doug Ford has defended the Ontario government’s decision to start the next phase of the lifting of public health measures earlier than originally planned.

“We can’t stay in this position forever. We’ve got to learn to live with this and get on with our lives,” the Premier said, during a press conference, on Tuesday, February 15th.

Premier Ford then spoke about how people feel about the COVID-19 pandemic at this point.

“Everyone’s done with this. Like, we are done with it. Let’s start moving on cautiously,” he said. “The world’s done with it. So let’s just move forward.”

The Premier noted the majority of people in Ontario have followed the COVID-19 rules over the last couple of years.

On Monday, February 14th, the Premier announced the next phase of the reopening process would begin on Thursday, February 17th, which included removing capacity limits at the majority of businesses, except for sporting events, concert venues, nightclubs and theatres. There was also an increase in gathering limits to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. The government is also planning on removing the proof of vaccination requirement in early March.

“Thank God, on March 1st were moving out of this, and I just can’t wait,” Premier Ford stated.

The Premier referenced how this pandemic has divided people in Ontario and in Canada.

“I’ve never seen this country and this province so divided. It has affected friendships, it’s affected coworkers, it’s affected families and I can tell you guys I’ve faced all three of them. It’s challenging, especially on the family side.”

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