Ontario set to ease COVID-19 restrictions Monday, source says

Ontario will allow businesses such as restaurants, bars and fitness centres to start lifting COVID-19 capacity limits starting on Monday, Oct. 25, a government source has told CBC News.

The senior government official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to CBC News on condition of anonymity, said the cabinet approved the changes on Thursday.

The source said Ford and his ministers are making the move after Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore was satisfied there wasn’t a surge in infections after the recent holiday weekend.

“Dr.Moore said last week he wanted to see the impact of Thanksgiving. With the incubation period now over and no increase in cases, we are confident we can proceed with our phased plan to safely reopen,” the source said.

Ontario has been at Step 3 of what the government calls its “Roadmap to Reopen” since mid-July. Last Wednesday, CBC News reported the province’s plan for lifting pandemic restriction would be unveiled this week.

Right now, fitness centres in Ontario are limited to 50 per cent capacity. At restaurants and bars, capacity is also limited to permit physical distancing of two metres.

The plan will signal when physical distancing and capacity limits can be lifted in settings where proof of vaccination is not required, such as places of worship, the official said.

Premier Doug Ford is expected to hold a news conference Friday.

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