Ontario to lift vaccine passport requirements on March 1

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Canada’s largest province will drop many of its pandemic-fighting measures next month as cases and hospitalizations decline. Proof-of-vaccination requirements and capacity limits in indoor public settings are among the measures that will be dropped as of March 1 if the health-system continues to improve, Ford said Monday. Masking requirements will remain in place, the province said.

“Given how well Ontario has done in the Omicron wave, we are able to fast-track our reopening plan,” Ford said in a statement. “This is great news and a sign of just how far we’ve come together in our fight against the virus. While we aren’t out of the woods just yet, we are moving in the right direction.”

Ontario reported 1,540 people in the hospital due to COVID-19 as of Sunday, compared with counts of more than 4,000 at points last month. There were 2,265 new cases in the province on Sunday, down from a peak of 18,445 on Jan. 1.