The Ford government is extending all COVID-19 orders currently in force under the ‘Reopening Ontario Act‘ (ROA) until January 20.
In a release issued Thursday, the province says the extension will support the safe delivery of health care and critical services until vaccines are approved and widely available.
“Safeguarding the health and well-being of Ontarians remains our top priority at every stage of our COVID-19 response,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.
“As we prepare to implement a safe and effective immunization program, extending these orders will ensure tools remain in place to address urgent public health situations until all Ontarians can be vaccinated.”
Several regulations are also being amended; they include allowing indoor farmer’s markets that mainly sell groceries to stay open.
Post-secondary institutions will also be allowed to increase the limit of people allowed in an instructional space for certain programs from 10 to 50 people.
The ROA came into force on July 24 to ensure COVID-19 measures remained in place after the provincial declared emergency came to an end. Under the ROA, orders can be extended for up to 30 days at a time.
Last week, the Ford government decided to keep York Region in its ‘Red-Control‘ zone, announcing that as of Dec. 7, Middlesex-London and Thunder Bay District would move to ‘Orange-Restrict‘.
The change to ‘Orange-Restrict‘ includes restrictions on visitors to long-term care homes and beefed-up testing.
The ROA extension does not mean lockdown orders are also extended.
Haliburton, Kawartha, and Pine Ridge Districts are also now under ‘Yellow-Protect‘. These measures will be in place until Jan. 4.