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Ontario planning to lift more COVID-19 restrictions next week

The plan comes nearly a week after the province lifted capacity limits in sports venues, concerts halls and movie theatres.
People wear masks to protect them from the COVID-19 virus while waiting to be seated at a restaurant patio in Kingston, Ontario on Tuesday July 13, 2021/THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

The Ford government is reportedly planning to loosen more COVID-19 restrictions as cases continue to trend down, according to multiple reports.

It comes nearly a week after Ontario lifted capacity limits in sports venues, concerts halls and movie theatres.

The province had planned to eventually exit the Step 3 phase of their reopening plan, but increasing case numbers and the delta variant forced them to pause.

Reports say the announcement is expected to come next week and will end the capacity limits in most public places including restaurants, bars and gyms.

Masking indoors and other public health restrictions are expected to remain in effect.

COVID-19 case numbers have been slowly decreasing with just over 300 new cases reported on Wednesday. The seven-day average also continues to trend downwards with it dropping to 500, reaching the lowest point since Aug. 19.

Vaccination numbers also continue to increase and have surpassed the province’s original metrics for exiting Step 3 with 87 per cent of the population eligible to be vaccinated having one dose and 82.5 per cent fully vaccinated.

The vaccine certificate verification app is expected to launch next Friday that will allow Ontarians to upload their information to a QR code for establishments to verify their vaccination status.

Proof-of-vaccination is currently required in most indoor settings including dine-in restaurants, gyms, indoor events and sports facilities.

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