Ontarians will be allowed to eat at sporting events on Monday, will not need to provide contact information
Ontario has released more details about what individuals should expect when the province moves to the first step of the latest reopening plan, which will see indoor dining return and establishments like movie theatres and sporting venues operate at 50 per cent capacity.
In new regulations approved Thursday afternoon, the government specified that individuals attending indoor events at a sporting or concert venue, a movie theatre, or other gaming establishments will be allowed to eat and drink, as long as they remain seated.
The new regulations can be considered good news for places such as movie theatres, who said they were disappointed to hear earlier in the week that popcorn would be banned in cinemas to reduce transmission during the opening.
These venues must still screen patrons prior to allowing entry; however the government has said that most businesses will no longer need to collect information for contact tracing.
“This is aligned with recent changes to the testing and case and contact management guidance and will allow businesses to focus their efforts on the enforcement of other public health measures in these settings, such as masking requirement,” officials said in a statement.
The province is also removing the legal requirement to work from home except where necessary, although Ontario’s chief medical officer of health recommends that those who are able to work from home continue to do so.
Dr. Kieran Moore reiterated this fact at a news conference on Thursday afternoon, saying that individual case management is no longer beneficial based on the vast community spread of Omicron.
"You have to take personal responsibility based on symptoms, knowing when to access health-care systems and (rapid antigen tests)," Moore said. “We have to learn as a society to live with this virus, live with the risk.”
Officials also offered clarification on capacity limits, saying that the 50 per cent limit applies to rooms within a facility as opposed to the number of people who can fit in the building as a whole.
For religious ceremonies and services, capacity restrictions have changed to allow as many people as can fit in the space while remaining physically distant. The province said those responsible for indoor weddings, funerals or other religious services “may elect to require attendees to provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”
These new regulations come into effect on Jan. 31 as the province enters the first of three reopening stages.
On Monday, movie theatres, meeting rooms and event spaces will be able to operate with 50 per cent capacity indoors. The same goes for indoor restaurants, bars, retailers, museums, and religious services.
- FULL LIST: What’s reopening in Ontario and when
Spectators will once again return to sporting events and concert venues at 50 per cent capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.
However, social gathering limits will remain more restricted, with 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
The government plans to lift further restrictions on Feb. 21, however Ford said that if public health trends have not improved the government “won’t hesitate” to pause between steps “for a few extra days.”
Dr. Peter Juni, the scientific director of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, told CTV News the province needs to carefully monitor hospitalizations as it reopens, especially considering the fact that many residents have still not gotten their booster shots.
“We see now ways that our third dose rollout has fallen asleep a bit, which worries me a lot,” he said. “e have less than half a million third doses per week, that's far too little, may need to make it to you know, nine million at least by the end of February and we are far away from that.”
“And then we have the additional reopening and we just should expect that our hospital numbers and ICU numbers could go up a bit again.”
ONTARIO TO BEGIN RESUMING NON-URGENT SURGERIES
The province also said that it will be taking a “phased approach” to resume some health services that were paused earlier this month.
This includes non-urgent surgeries and procedures in pediatrics, diagnostic services, cancer screeings, some ambulatory clinics, private hospitals, and independent health facilities.
However, officials warned that not all hospitals will immediately resume these procedures and that “hospitals will need to meet certain criteria.”
Very few details were released regarding what those criteria are, however officials said in a statement that it would be based on “local context and conditions.”
With files from CTV News Toronto's Colin D'Mello
Toronto Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, have arrived in St. John's, N.L., to begin a three-day Canadian tour that includes stops in Ottawa and the Northwest Territories.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre has a personal financial interest in cryptocurrencies that he has promoted during his campaign as a hedge against inflation.
A day after Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner was robbed of his Range Rover at gunpoint outside an Etobicoke movie theatre, Toronto police said they have already seen more carjackings so far this year than they did in all of 2021.
Canada's transport minister is dismissing claims that the federal government asked airlines to reduce their schedules and cancel flights to ease recent travel delays.
The Green Party of Canada is calling on the federal government to develop a targeted anti-transgender hate strategy, citing a 'rising tide of hate' both in Canada and abroad. Amita Kuttner, who is Canada's first transgender federal party leader, made the call during a press conference on Parliament Hill on Tuesday.
International arrivals at Canadian airports are so backed up, people are being kept on planes for over an hour after they land because there isn't physically enough space to hold the lineups of travellers, says the Canadian Airports Council.
Many Canadians say gun violence is increasing in the communities they live in, with residents in major cities and the country's largest provinces mostly reporting such views, according to a new survey from the Angus Reid Institute.
U.S. authorities on Monday announced the discovery of a major drug smuggling tunnel -- running about the length of a six football fields -- from Mexico to a warehouse in an industrial area in the U.S.
A couple in India are suing their son and daughter-in-law -- for not giving them grandchildren after six years of marriage.
A new mural depicting Fredy Villanueva, who was killed by a Montreal police officer in 2008, has been unveiled.
Students at a high school in Montreal North were forced into a lockdown after a caller reported a gunman nearby.
The day after the publication of a lengthy inquiry report of nearly 200 pages on the tragedy that occurred in the long-term care homes (CHSLDs) at the beginning of the pandemic, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said, 'we need more accountability from the top down.'
A police investigation has been sparked after a north London, Ont. playground was vandalized with hate symbols.
Cameron Doig of Seaforth, Ont. is facing more sexual offence charges. The 63-year-old golf pro has been charged with one count of indecent assault on a female and police say this charge is “historical” in nature.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit is reporting 25 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday, but no new deaths.
'Unable to enjoy their backyards in peace': Neighbours of Flag Raiders share concerns as paintball business seeks approval
A contentious topic is back under review in Cambridge. City council is hearing from a number of delegates sharing their thoughts about a paintball company's land and whether it should be re-zoned.
SHANNON'S WEATHER | Frost advisories issued as cooler temperatures return
After a stretch of summer-like weather, cooler temperatures have returned, prompting frost advisories.
An Elmira mother says her baby has an allergy to certain kinds of formula and finding the right brand has been difficult amid the shortage.
A Sudbury woman who sought help for alcohol dependency and mental-health challenges ended up losing her driver's licence.
Ontario provincial police said Tuesday about 15 cows remain to be rounded up by contractors following four days of roaming in the Old Woman Road area of Highway 17 north of Sault Ste. Marie.
An Ontario court has removed Maureen Van Alstine from town council in Espanola.
Buckingham Palace has released new details on Prince Charles and his wife Camilla’s three-day tour of Canada next month, which includes a stop in Ottawa.
Two Ottawa restaurants have cracked OpenTable’s list of Canada’s best 100 restaurants for outdoor dining.
The Ottawa Police Services did not formally request that the federal government invoke the Emergencies Act during the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest, the city’s interim police chief told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.
'Let's get our officers back in the schools': Police board chair calls for return of VIP program in Essex schools
Numerous meetings have taken place since a youth allegedly fired an airsoft gun at a dance last Friday.
A Windsor man is facing charges following an investigation into an alleged investment scheme that defrauded more than $800,000 from multiple victims.
A person was taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries after their motorbike collided with a parked car Tuesday afternoon.
Barrie police say they arrested three suspects accused of kidnapping a man last month from a parking lot in the city's south end.
A woman accused of leaving her puppy in a hot car in Bradford has been charged under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act.
South Simcoe police say they are investigating a daytime carjacking in Innisfil after an armed suspect shoved a senior to the ground before taking off in her vehicle.
The police officer who fatally shot a 26-year-old Indigenous woman during a wellness check in Edmundston, N.B., two years ago says he doesn't know why things escalated so quickly.
When a man disguised as a Mountie started killing people in northern Nova Scotia two years ago, there was considerable confusion over who was in charge of the RCMP operation, newly released documents show.
A woman who was stabbed overnight in the Halifax area has died from her injuries.
A 28-year-old man faces four counts of sexual assault following an investigation into reported offences at CF Chinook Centre.
Calgary barber Dami Lare Sulola began cutting hair by experimenting on his brother, now he’s an international haircutting celebrity.
The health minister and chief medical officer of health will update Albertans on COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon.
Two Winnipeg men are facing firearm-related charges after Winnipeg police officers seized 19 guns from a home in the city’s Southwood neighbourhood.
Manitoba's deputy premier is apologizing for remarks he made about women's skirts during a speech to a business audience.
A permanent public washroom is set to open this month in downtown Winnipeg.
A B.C. massage therapist's registration is being cancelled for at least five years after he admitted to professional misconduct against multiple patients, which included exposing their chests without consent.
Crews working to rebuild B.C.'s Highway 8 encountered a relatively rare rattlesnake Monday.
Former Green Party leader Elizabeth May has sponsored a petition calling on the federal government to repeal the Criminal Code's prohibition of public nudity, but she says she has not signed it and doesn’t support it.
The health minister and chief medical officer of health will update Albertans on COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon.
It was not the Edmonton Oilers’ finest hour, but a big loss to their Battle of Alberta archrivals might have been instrumental to their playoff push.
The Alberta government says revised curricula for science, French language, and French literature are ready to be tested in classrooms this fall.