A look at COVID-19 reopening plans
Thursday, August 19, 2021
at 11:15 am
Ontario will stay in Step 3 of its reopening plan for now, maintaining capacity limits on businesses, gatherings and other settings.
Dr. Kieran Moore, the province’s chief medical officer of health said reopening needs to be paused to allow time for the new policies to take effect, adding that Ontario’s vaccination rates need to be higher.
Social gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Religious services and other ceremonies are allowed indoors with larger groups of people who are physically distanced.
Nightclubs and similar establishments are open to 25 per cent capacity. Crowd limits have expanded for retail stores and salons, which can offer services that require masks to be removed.
Spectators are permitted at sporting events, concert venues, cinemas and theatres, with larger limits on crowds for outdoor events.
Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, bingo halls and amusement parks are also open with larger crowd limits on outdoor attractions.
Masking and physical distancing rules, however, remain in place.
Fully vaccinated Ontarians considered close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 no longer have to isolate unless they develop symptoms or are directed to do so by public health.
In its school-specific guidance, the province says fully immunized high-risk contacts of positive or likely COVID-19 cases don’t have to isolate or be dismissed from classes unless they have symptoms.
Vaccinated individuals with symptoms who receive a negative COVID-19 test result can return to school if their symptoms improve over 24 hours, or after 48 hours if they had gastrointestinal symptoms.
Unvaccinated, high-risk contacts of positive or likely cases need to isolate for 10 days and it’s recommended that they take a COVID-19 test seven days into their isolation.
The province says household members of those who are close contacts of positive cases have to abide by similar rules.
Returning students will be allowed to play on sports teams and with friends from other classes during recess, share materials such as toys in kindergarten, use instruments in music class, go on field trips and ditch masks outdoors.
Students will be attending in person for full days, five days a week – unless they have opted for remote learning – and high school students will have timetables with no more than two courses at a time.