Ontario Plans for Gradual Reopening of Concert Venues, Theatres & Other Businesses Beginning Jan. 31

Michael Raine
January 20, 2022

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced that the province will begin a gradual reopening of concert venues, theatres, and other businesses on Jan. 31, 2022. Since Jan. 5, Ontario has closed or instituted strict capacity limits on public-facing businesses of all types in order to quell the large spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations brought on by the Omicron variant.

On Jan. 31, indoor dining, gyms, cinemas, arenas, concert venues, casinos, and theatres can re-open at 50% capacity. The next step of the reopening is then scheduled for Feb. 21 at the earliest. All dates and plans are dependent on COVID cases and hospitalization continuing to decrease.

Here is the complete list of changes/openings slated for Jan. 31:

- 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); Shopping malls; non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms; Cinemas; Meeting and event spaces; Recreational amenities and amusement parks, including water parks; Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and similar attractions; 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% seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.

The changes planned for Feb. 21st are:

- Increasing social gathering limits to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

- Permitting spectator capacity at sporting events, concert venues, and theatres at 50% capacity.

- 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.

- 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.

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Michael Raine

Michael Raine is the Editor-In-Chief at NWC, publisher of Canadian Musician, Professional Sound, Professional Lighting & Production, and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Podcast. Michael has extensively covered nearly all aspects of the Canadian music business, as well as the pro audio, musical products, and the lighting and production industries.