City of Toronto prepared for lifting of COVID-19 capacity limits, gradual reopening

October 22, 2021

Today, the Province of Ontario announced “A Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term” and provided details about the provincial plan to gradually lift COVID-19 safety measures: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1001027/ontario-releases-plan-to-safely-reopen-ontario-and-manage-covid-19-for-the-long-term. The City of Toronto welcomes the reopening plan and is prepared to support reopening activities, including the lifting of COVID-19 capacity limits in a number of settings as of next Monday, October 25.

Starting Monday, the Province is lifting capacity limits in places where proof of vaccination is required including food and drink establishments, indoor areas of sports and recreation facilities, gaming establishments and indoor meeting and event spaces as well as some outdoor settings. City staff are reviewing today’s announcement for what impact it may have on City facilities and activities, including recreation and community centres.

This next step of reopening would not be possible without the millions of Toronto residents who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. In Toronto, 2,244,839 people have now received at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccine and are considered fully vaccinated – 83 per cent of the eligible population. An additional 112,505 people have already received a first dose of vaccine. Anyone following along as Team Toronto works towards 90 per cent full vaccination can see updated vaccination statistics every Tuesday and Friday on the City’s COVID-19: Vaccine Data webpage: www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-pandemic-data/covid-19-vaccine-data/

With capacity limits under the provincial Reopening Ontario Act easing, many businesses and organizations across the city are still required by law to have patrons show proof of vaccination. Last week the Province announced that vaccinated individuals can download an enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code that can be scanned. The Province also released the Verify Ontario app enabling businesses and organizations to scan the QR code found on people’s enhanced vaccine certificates: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1000979/enhanced-covid-19-vaccine-certificate-with-qr-code-and-verify-ontario-app-available-for-download-starting-october-15.

Ontario law requires proof of vaccination to enter a number of businesses and organizations as well as to participate in certain activities, including entering restaurants and bars, sports and recreation facilities such as gyms and pools, concert venues and movie theatres. When visiting premises requiring proof of vaccination, people can show either the electronic version of the certificate with QR code or a paper copy.

All valid vaccine certificates continue to be accepted at City sports and recreational fitness facilities and for City activities where proof of vaccination is required by law. As staff become trained, the City will use the Verify Ontario app to confirm vaccination status of people using the new enhanced vaccine certificate and QR code.

Vaccinated Toronto residents can access their enhanced vaccine certificate through the Province’s COVID-19 vaccination portal: https://covid19.ontariohealth.ca/. Alternatively, people can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to have their enhanced vaccine certificate emailed or mailed to them.

Anyone with questions about proof of vaccination or where proof of vaccination is required by law can visit the Province’s Proof of COVID-19 vaccination webpage for more information: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/proof-covid-19-vaccination.

Quote:

“A slow and cautious approach to reopening – one that leverages the protection afforded to us by vaccination – is indeed the best approach. As restrictions are lifted and as we increase our interaction with each other, it is more important than ever that everyone get vaccinated if they are eligible.”

– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health

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