DETAILS OF STEPS TO CAUTIOUSLY AND GRADUALLY EASE PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES, STARTING ON JANUARY 31, 2022 ANNOUNCED TODAY
In the absence of concerning trends in public health and health care indicators, Ontario will follow a cautious and phased approach to lifting public health measures, with 21 days between each step. January 31, 2022
Effective January 31, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. Ontario will begin the process of gradually easing restrictions, while maintaining protective measures, including but not limited to:
Increasing social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
Increasing or maintaining capacity limits at 50 per cent in indoor public settings, including but not limited to:
Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities;
Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies)
Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms;
Meeting and event spaces;
Recreational amenities and amusement parks, including water parks;
Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and similar attractions; and
Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
Religious services, rites, or ceremonies.
Allowing spectator areas of facilities such as sporting events, concert venues and theatres to operate at 50 per cent seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.
Enhanced proof of vaccination, and other requirements would continue to apply in existing settings. February 21, 2022
Effective February 21, 2022, Ontario will lift public health measures, including:
Increasing social gathering limits to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
Removing capacity limits in indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required, including but not limited to restaurants, indoor sports and recreational facilities, cinemas, as well as other settings that choose to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements.
Permitting spectator capacity at sporting events, concert venues, and theatres at 50 per cent capacity.
Limiting capacity in most remaining indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is not required to the number of people that can maintain two metres of physical distance.
Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies limited to the number that can maintain two metres of physical distance, with no limit if proof of vaccination is required.
Increasing indoor capacity limits to 25 per cent in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including nightclubs, wedding receptions in meeting or event spaces where there is dancing, as well as bathhouses and sex clubs.
Enhanced proof of vaccination, and other requirements would continue to apply in existing settings. March 14, 2022
Effective March 14, 2022, Ontario will take additional steps to ease public health measures, including:
Lifting capacity limits in all indoor public settings. Proof of vaccination will be maintained in existing settings in addition to other regular measures.
Lifting remaining capacity limits on religious services, rites, or ceremonies.
Increase social gathering limits to 50 people indoors with no limits for outdoor gatherings.
To manage COVID-19 over the long-term, local and regional responses by public health units may be deployed based on local context and conditions.
Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program now accepting applications
Eligible businesses required to close or reduce capacity due to the current public health measures put in place to blunt the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 can apply for the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program starting today. The program will provide eligible businesses with a rebate payment of up to 100 per cent for property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to these restrictions.
Eligible businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 per cent of their costs. Those required to reduce capacity to 50 per cent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their costs.
In communications with the Government of Ontario, the GNCC has pointed out that this program only benefits businesses which pay property tax and/or energy bills themselves, and suggested that a supplemental program should be introduced for businesses who do not but are still affected by restrictions. At this time, no response has been received.
Ontario cuts electricity rates for small business and residential customers
As of 12:01 AM today, electricity prices have been lowered to the off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour — less than half the on-peak rate — 24 hours per day. This relief will last 21 days, as long as the modified Step Two restrictions are expected to be in place.
The rate cut will be applied automatically to both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans on the bills of residential customers, small businesses and farms who pay regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).
Canada receives first delivery of COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment
The Government of Canada has received an initial shipment of 30,400 treatment courses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment, PAXLOVID™, with 120,000 more expected to be delivered between now and the end of March. Canada has secured 1 million courses of the treatment in total. The treatment received Health Canada regulatory authorization earlier today. Distribution to provinces and territories will begin imminently.
City of Welland invites the community to provide input on redesign of its municipal website
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2022
Welland, ON – The City of Welland is redesigning its website and looking for community feedback to share ideas about what they would like to see in a new welland.ca.
Previously redesigned in 2017, the website is ready to undergo changes to enhance usability, navigation, and user experience. Part of what that looks like will be determined by community feedback. In addition to the community voice, the City’s communications department has assembled a team of staff from across the corporation to provide input.
“The team working on this project includes staff members in various departments who use the website for various reasons, which will help us determine some key areas to look at right out of the age,” said Marc MacDonald, corporate communications manager. “The end user’s experience measures a website’s success, so the more perspectives we have working on this project, the better product we’ll ultimately produce.”
Using the City’s public engagement tool, EngageWelland, residents are invited to complete a survey, share ideas, and ask questions about the project. Through this data, city staff will develop ways to implement successful ideas to make the website user-friendly and accessible.
Given the time and work that goes into a website redesign, a hard launch date is not yet determined, though the anticipated completion date will be in the late fall. Part of the project’s process will be rewriting each page on the site to ensure consistency in tone and style.
During the redesign, the current website will remain fully operational and updated, ensuring visitors retain access to the information they require.