Premier Doug Ford to release strategy for moving beyond Step 3 of Ontario’s COVID-19 reopening plan

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is set to release the province’s long-term COVID-19 reopening strategy Friday afternoon.

The province has been in Step 3 of its reopening plan for more than three months, which allowed all indoor services to reopen with capacity limits and public health measures still in place.

The province has since lifted capacity limits for some large venue settings for sports and concerts, but has not made any other changes for other businesses.

CTV News Toronto learned on Thursday that capacity restrictions for restaurants and gyms in Ontario could be lifted next Monday. Multiple sources said that Ford’s cabinet also discussed when to dial back mandatory masking policies in public settings.

Some sources pointed to the spring as a potential timeframe to end the masking mandate, while others said the government intends to slowly pull back public health measures in January.

Cabinet was also considering an opt-in proof of vaccination policy for certain sectors of the economy, which would allow establishments to be at full capacity as long as they require customers or guests to be fully vaccinated.

The premier will announce the exit strategy at 2 p.m. on Friday alongside Health Minister Christine Elliott, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore, and Associate Minister of Digital Government Kaleed Rasheed.

The announcement will be streamed live on and the CTV News app.

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