Ontario Lifting Most Remaining COVID-19 Public Health Measures, Including Mask Mandates
After almost two years of COVID-19 restrictions and public health mandates, the provincial government has announced a timeline for removing all public health restrictions, including mask mandates.
Effective March 14:
- Mandatory vaccination policy for employees in long-term care homes is lifted
- Unvaccinated workers in hospitals and other high-risk healthcare settings will no longer have to partake in regular rapid testing
Effective March 21:
- Masking requirements will be removed in most settings including: schools, restaurants and bars, gyms, movie theatres, shopping centres, etc.
- Remaining measures in schools including cohorts and on-site symptom screening are removed
- Remaining regulatory requirements for businesses are removed, including passive screening and having a COVID-19 safety plan
Effective April 27:
- Mask requirements are removed in all remaining settings
- All remaining orders under the Reopening Ontario Act expire
- Remaining health-care directives are lifted, however, the government will still direct health-care workers to wear personal protective equipment
- After this date, masks will not be mandatory but will be encouraged and highly recommended for those who are immunocompromised, at high risk, or who choose to still use them.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health states, “As a society, we must remain kind, considerate and respectful toward those who continue wearing a mask. We must also expect indicators, such as cases and hospitalizations, to increase slightly as Ontarians increasingly interact with one another.”