Ontario Lifts More COVID-19 Restrictions this March

Changes to Ontario’s COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures have loosened on Mar. 1, 2022, with talk of eliminating the mask mandate in late March.

With the Omicron surge dissipating, the number of COVID-19 cases and patients in ICUs across the province has declined. 

After receiving a green-light from Public Health, the government lifted all indoor capacity limits for:

  • Sports arenas.
  • Restaurants and bars.
  • Concert venues.
  • Theatres.
  • Night clubs.
  • Weddings.
  • Religious services.
  • Funerals.

Another significant change for Ontarians is getting rid of the vaccine mandate implemented since Oct. 2021. 

It’s now no longer required for businesses to ask for proof of vaccination, nor required for an individual to be fully vaccinated to enter public indoor spaces.

Ontario can anticipate restrictions to continue lessening in the warmer months ahead. 

Some provinces,  like Manitoba, have announced their government aims to eliminate the mask mandate by Mar. 15, 2022. 

Many speculate Ontario will follow suit–– possibly lifting the mask mandate by the end of the month.

As for restrictions at Wilfrid Laurier University, the mandatory vaccination policy remains in effect and students, staff and faculty are required to show their SAFEHawk vaccination passport as proof of vaccination for amenities including:

  • Dine-in-food service.
  • Campus study spots.
  • Athletic Center.

For students living in residence:

  • Residence students are permitted to visit all Laurier-owned residence buildings.
  • The guest policy is up to a maximum of one guest per student/
  • External guests are not allowed.
  • No more extended capacity limits for community and building lounges.
  • Physical distancing will no longer be required.
  • The mask mandate is still in place and must be worn in public or shared spaces.

Although it is exciting to see restrictions lifted, the Region of Waterloo’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, warns we should still be cautious about resuming all activities. 

She also reminds everyone is at different comfort levels with relaxing restrictions. 

Loosening restrictions could lead to more people becoming infected.

It might be riskier for individuals with immunocompromised loved ones, so it is essential to respect that some people are looking forward to returning to a sense of “normalcy” of what life was like before COVID-19, and others are more hesitant.

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