As of February 17, 2022, Ontario has moved forward into the next phase of its COVID-19 reopening plan. Restaurants’ capacity limits have been lifted.
Starting March 1, Premier Doug Ford also intends to scrap the vaccine passport. Though some restaurants can decide whether or not they want to continue the vaccine mandate for their restaurant or not.
Restaurant owners are skeptical about the situation because no longer checking for proof of vaccination may make life a bit easier on them, they do still want to provide a safe environment for their customers. It really is up to the customers to make their decision.
Tia Soja, a resident in Toronto who has not been vaccinated, says that going out with friends was hard because most of her friends are vaccinated. “I felt left out. I can’t really enjoy certain activities which makes me sad. I will for sure be going to restaurants once the vaccine mandate is lifted. It’ll feel like things are normal again.”
“I don’t think it was necessary in the first place because in a way they are splitting up the people who are vaccinated and those who are not. It’s made things more difficult and has caused more problems. It’s like a world where not everyone is accepted or allowed to do certain things because of our preferences or specific reasons.”
Though the debate on whether the vaccine passports should be made mandatory for indoor dining is controversial, Global News reports that 78 percent of people who participated in the Leger poll “strongly support (56 percent) or somewhat support (22 percent) requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 when visiting non-essential public spaces. The poll was done in September 2021, so changes in numbers are expected following some most recent issues, including the truckers convoy protest.
So as of recently, a new poll from CBC indicates that nearly 30 percent of Canadians believe “it’s time to lift pandemic restrictions and “learn to live” with the virus”.
Premier Doug Ford said in a recent announcement “it doesn’t matter if you have one shot or ten shots, you can catch COVID… we just have to be careful, always make sure we wash our hands and move forward. We can’t stay in this position forever; we got to learn to live with this and get on with our lives…I hate as a government telling everyone what to do.” Ford shows sympathy for those unvaccinated for missing out on what used to be regular activities.
With this step forward into Ontario’s reopening plan, don’t run just yet to your favourite restaurant if you are still unvaccinated; it’s not guaranteed they will allow everyone in. You can call ahead of time to find out which restaurants will be continuing the proof of vaccination policy.