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Ontario Cautiously Lifting Capacity Limits in Select Settings

Public Health and Health Care Indicators Stable or Improving as Vaccination Rates Increase

With public health and health care indicators remaining stable or improving, the government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is cautiously lifting capacity limits in select indoor and outdoor settings where proof of vaccination is required, as well as certain outdoor settings that have a capacity below 20,000. This gradual and incremental approach will continue to help protect people and ensure the province continues to cautiously lift public health measures safely.

In keeping with the government’s cautious approach, effective Saturday, October 9, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits will be lifted to allow 100 per cent capacity in the following settings:

  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas;
  • Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (would not include gyms, personal training);
  • Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing);
  • Horseracing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues; and
  • Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.

To date there has been a limited number of outbreaks in these settings. Other public health and workplace safety measures continue to remain in effect for these settings. This can include wearing face coverings, screening and the collecting of patron information to support contact tracing. In settings where capacity limits have been lifted, the requirement for individuals to maintain two metres of physical distancing are being removed, with limited exceptions. In addition, proof of vaccination will continue to be required in outdoor settings where the normal maximum capacity is 20,000 people or more to help keep these venues safe for patrons.

Since the proof of vaccination requirement went into effect, the province has reached two key milestones in its COVID-19 response, with more than 86.8 per cent of individuals aged 12 and over vaccinated with at least a first dose and more than 81.9 per cent with two doses. The majority of new cases continue to be among the unvaccinated.

Capacity limits will continue to remain in effect in all other remaining settings at this time. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and the government will continue to review data and trends in key public health and health care indicators to determine the necessary and appropriate measures to protect the health and safety of Ontarians.