Shoppers line up at stores at a Toronto mall on Friday, December 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Shoppers line up at stores at a Toronto mall on Friday, December 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Ontario, Quebec begin easing COVID-19 restrictions as schools reopen in the Maritimes

Indoor dining back in central Canada

Canada’s most populous provinces are easing some COVID-19 restrictions today, while students head back to classrooms in two Maritime provinces.

Ontario and Quebec have reported declines in hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in recent days and Monday marks the start of the two provinces’ gradual reopening after surging cases of the Omicron variant prompted tighter rules last month.

In Ontario, the number of people allowed to attend social gatherings has increased to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors until another planned increase on Feb. 21.

Restaurants and bars may reopen indoor dining at half capacity, and many other businesses, such as gyms and cinemas, may also reopen to vaccinated patrons.

Indoor dining has also resumed in Quebec, with certain limits, while the second phase of that province’s reopening plan scheduled for Feb. 7 is set to allow places of worship, entertainment and sports venues to reopen with capacity restrictions.

On the East Coast, schools were set to reopen to in-person learning in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Monday, with added safety measures in place.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: COVID-19 hospitalizations down in Ontario, Quebec as some restrictions set to ease

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