OTTAWA — Effective March 1, the province of Ontario will no longer require people to show proof of vaccination to enter any indoor spaces, Premier Doug Ford announced Monday morning.
In a call with reporters, Mr. Ford said the change in public policy to scrap the so-called vaccination card was based on a declining number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, and was not a concession to protesters camped in trucks around Parliament Hill; stifling international trade by closing a major border crossing in Windsor, Ontario; It inspired counterfeit protests across the country and the world.
“Let me be very clear: We are moving in that direction because it is safe to do so,” said Mr. Ford. “Today’s announcement is not because of what’s happening in Ottawa, or Windsor, but despite it.”
Starting Feb. 17, the county’s indoor capacity limits will be relaxed, and some limits for outdoor gatherings will be lifted entirely, Mr. Ford said. He said Musk’s mandate, however, would remain in effect “a little longer,” adding that he made the decision in consultation with the health minister.
Ontario is following several provinces that have rolled back their coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks — some ahead of schedule, though the lifts are all credited to declining cases, not demonstrations. Monday’s announcement by Mr. Ford moves the reopening plan four days ahead of schedule, including raising the evidence for a vaccination requirement, which was not specified in the original Ontario plan.
The protesters’ main demand was the lifting of the mandate requiring truck drivers crossing the border into the United States to be vaccinated to re-enter Canada. This requirement can only be set or waived by the federal government.
When Mr. Ford made his announcement, the trumpets erupted on an Ottawa morning from the truckers’ camp. “Keep up the pressure,” a man shouted from a loudspeaker on Rideau Street, “The Emperor without clothes!”
Mike Jamison, 68, was unimpressed by the information from the prime minister. The truck driver from Windsor, Nova Scotia, sitting in his lemon yellow truck on Rideau Street, said he would stay parked there as he has for the past 18 days until federal mandates are lifted.
Although Mr. Jamieson is not subject to them as a local and unprotected carrier, he said he objected to them in principle. “We came here to get an agenda: to finish all the states,” he said. “So we can go home and be free.”
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