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A Message from the Economic Development Department 

To Port Colborne residents and businesses, 

With key public health and health care indicators starting to show signs of improvement, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, released details of steps to cautiously and gradually ease public health measures, starting on January 31, 2022.

 In the absence of concerning trends in public health and health care indicators, Ontario will follow a cautious and phased approach to lifting public health measures, with 21 days between each step.

January 31, 2022

Effective January 31, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. Ontario will begin the process of gradually easing restrictions, while maintaining protective measures, including but not limited to:

•             Increasing social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

•             Increasing or maintaining capacity limits at 50 per cent in indoor public settings, including but not limited to:

o             Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities;

o             Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies);

o             Shopping malls;

o             Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms;

o             Cinemas;

o             Meeting and event spaces;

o             Recreational amenities and amusement parks, including water parks;

o             Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and similar attractions;

o             Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments;

o             Religious services, rites, or ceremonies.

•             Allowing spectator areas of facilities such as sporting events, concert venues and theatres to operate at 50 per cent seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.

Enhanced proof of vaccination, and other requirements would continue to apply in existing settings.

February 21, 2022

Effective February 21, 2022, Ontario will lift public health measures, including:

•             Increasing social gathering limits to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

•             Removing capacity limits in indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required, including but not limited to restaurants, indoor sports and recreational facilities, cinemas, as well as other settings that choose to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements.

•             Permitting spectator capacity at sporting events, concert venues, and theatres at 50 per cent capacity.

•             Limiting capacity in most remaining indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is not required to the number of people that can maintain two metres of physical distance.

•             Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies limited to the number that can maintain two metres of physical distance, with no limit if proof of vaccination is required.

•             Increasing indoor capacity limits to 25 per cent in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including nightclubs, wedding receptions in meeting or event spaces where there is dancing, as well as bathhouses and sex clubs.

Enhanced proof of vaccination, and other requirements would continue to apply in existing settings.

March 14, 2022

Effective March 14, 2022, Ontario will take additional steps to ease public health measures, including:


•             Lifting capacity limits in all indoor public settings. Proof of vaccination will be maintained in existing settings in addition to other regular measures.

•             Lifting remaining capacity limits on religious services, rites, or ceremonies.

•             Increase social gathering limits to 50 people indoors with no limits for outdoor gatherings.

To manage COVID-19 over the long-term, local and regional responses by public health units may be deployed based on local context and conditions.


Applications open for Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program

Online applications for the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program are now open. The provincial government program provides eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity with rebate payments for up to 100 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to public health measures in response to the Omicron variant. To receive the grant, a small business must be required to close due to public health orders that took effect on January 5, and have fewer than 100 employees.

Apply today

Ontario government launches program to support advanced manufacturers

The Ontario government launched the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness program to help small and medium-sized companies get the tools, technology and talent they need to innovate and grow. The program provides investments in capital equipment, technology adoption and skills development. The first round of applications are open until February 10, 2022.

 Learn more about program eligibility and how to apply

Federal government supports available for businesses facing hardship

The Government of Canada continues to offer targeted supports for businesses and self-employed individuals facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include rent and property expenses support; wage and hiring support; Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility; Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit and more.

See the supports available for businesses, self-employed individuals and sectors

For up-to-date information about how the City is responding to COVID-19, including facility closures and service disruptions, visit our website

Questions for Port Colborne's Economic Development Officer?
Email Bram Cotton
Call 905-835-2900 x504