Ontario Capacity Limits Easing Thursday, February 17

Written by Comms Team, February 17, 2022

Residents Urged to Remain Vigilant and Cautious as Omicron Transmission Continues Throughout Community

Effective this morning (Thursday, February 17) at 12:01 a.m., Ontario decreased certain public health measures and moved into the next step of reopening. This includes increasing capacity limits for certain businesses, facilities, public gatherings, and private gatherings.

“The reopening of Ontario has us moving forward cautiously and gradually,” said Julie Ingram, Manager of Environmental Health. “Public health measures have helped to decrease the risk to the community, protected those who are most vulnerable, and saved countless lives through this pandemic. Today, while we see some of these measures decreasing, many are still in effect and are important to follow while Omicron continues to circulate in our community.”

Public health measures that will continue include: masking in indoor settings, physical distancing in some settings, self-screening, and staying home when you are sick. In addition, the proof of vaccination requirement for certain public settings is expected to remain in effect until at least March 1.

Changes coming into effect on February 17 include:

  1. Increasing social gathering limits to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors
  2. Increasing organized public events to 50 people indoors, no limit for outdoors

Capacity limits in locations that have proof of vaccine requirements are also being relaxed. On February 17, locations that will have expanded capacity include:

  1. 100% capacity in food and drink establishments (without dancing),
  2. 100% capacity in facilities for indoor sport and recreational fitness facilities (with the exception of spectator areas),
  3. 50% seating capacity in sports arenas, concert venues, and theatres,
  4. 25% capacity for nightclubs, restaurants where there is dancing, as well as bathhouses and sex clubs,
  5. Indoor weddings, funerals or religious services, rites, or ceremonies can expand capacity to the number of people who can maintain two metres physical distance.

For more detailed information, please visit: https://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-framework-response/.

Alongside the relaxation of some provincial public health measures, Peterborough Public Health’s Medical Officer of Health has repealed the formal recommendation to local businesses and organizations from January 31, 2022, requesting owners and operators enable workers to work from home.

“Many businesses and organizations continued to implement work from home policies even when they were no longer mandated by the provincial government. This went a long way to protect workers and our community as a whole, and will continue to even as we see continued omicron transmission in our community,” said Dr. Piggott. “It is safer to begin bringing workers back into the workplace if they can’t easily continue to work from home. If your workplace is getting ready to welcome workers back, ensure additional precautions are in place such as enhanced vaccination and masking policies, and improvements to indoor air quality including HVAC assessments. These measures will go a long way to reduce the risk of transmission of omicron in your workplace and protect in the face of future variants and waves of this pandemic.”

Peterborough Public Health is not currently investigating workplace COVID-19 outbreaks, as workplaces have not been deemed a highest-risk setting. Workplaces are reminded of their obligation to continue reporting to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. In addition, there is an online tool available for workplaces to report outbreaks to Peterborough Public Health.


For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391