Ontario lifts capacity limits on concert venues, theatres, cinemas, meeting and event spaces, and more

Physical distancing requirement is also being lifted in these settings, effective October 9

Effective October 9, 2021, performance venues such as Market Hall Performing Arts Centre in downtown Peterborough are among those indoor settings that can operate at 100 per cent capacity, with physical distancing requirements also lifted. (Photo: Bradley Boyle)
Effective October 9, 2021, performance venues such as Market Hall Performing Arts Centre in downtown Peterborough are among those indoor settings that can operate at 100 per cent capacity, with physical distancing requirements also lifted. (Photo: Bradley Boyle)

The Ontario government has lifted all capacity limits on concert venues, theatres, cinemas, meeting and event spaces, spectator areas of sports facilities, and more, and is removing the requirement for physical distancing.

The changes, which come into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, were quietly announced by the government on Friday afternoon (October 8) before the Thanksgiving weekend.

“With public health and health care indicators remaining stable or improving, the government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is cautiously lifting capacity limits in select indoor and outdoor settings where proof of vaccination is required, as well as certain outdoor settings that have a capacity below 20,000,” a media release reads.

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Effective Saturday, capacity limits will be lifted to allow 100 per cent capacity in the following settings:

  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas
  • Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (this does not include gyms or personal training facilities)
  • Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing)
  • Horse-racing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues
  • Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.

According to the province, there have been a limited number of COVID-19 outbreaks in these settings.

Proof of full vaccination is still required for entry to these settings, and other public health and workplace safety measures remain in effect, which may include wearing face coverings, screening, and the collecting of patron information to support contact tracing.

In settings where capacity limits have been lifted, the requirement for individuals to maintain two metres of physical distancing is being removed, except in indoor meeting and event spaces.

Proof of vaccination will continue to be required in outdoor settings where the normal maximum capacity is 20,000 people or more.

Capacity limits will continue to remain in effect in all other remaining settings at this time.