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UPDATE: Ontario to lift capacity limits for bars, restaurants, gyms on Monday — source

Province poised to unveil plan to move beyond current COVID-19 public health restrictions today
2021-10-04 Doug Ford TADH2 MH
Ontario Premier Doug Ford at Timmins and District Hospital on Oct. 4, 2021.

TORONTO — Capacity limits for bars, restaurants and gyms in Ontario will be lifted on Monday, a senior government source says, as the province is poised to unveil its plan to move beyond current COVID-19 public health restrictions.

Premier Doug Ford is set to lay out more details of the province's plan this afternoon, alongside Ontario's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore.

Ford has said the new plan would include how and when to lift more public health measures, including restrictions on restaurants.

He has said it will provide a long-term vision, and will involve applying any new restrictions in tailored and localized ways, with the aim of avoiding further lockdowns.

Moore has suggested rules won't be loosened quickly.

The province paused plans in mid-August to exit Step 3 of its reopening framework as fourth-wave cases were rising. 

Now, the seven-day average of daily COVID-19 cases is stable, nearly 88 per cent of eligible Ontarians have received at least one dose of a vaccine and proof of vaccination is required to access several venues, including restaurants, cinemas and event spaces.

Ontario reported 492 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, and 11 more deaths.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said 325 of those cases are in people not fully vaccinated or their vaccination status is unknown. There are 149 people in intensive care units due to COVID-19, with 128 of them who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press