Restrictions loosen at long-term care homes in Ontario

A man waves to his mother in long-term care, November 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Long-term care residents in Ontario can now have outdoor visits with up to 10 people at a time.

The province says they can also meet indoors with up to two essential caregivers and two general visitors.

The changes, part of the provincial government's move to Step 2 of its reopening plan, came into effect Wednesday as cases of COVID-19 continue to decline. .

The new rules also allow personal care services to resume for long-term care residents.

Additionally, there's no longer a limit on the number people who can be deemed "essential caregivers" by long-term care residents or their substitute decision-makers.

Stage 3 of Ontario's reopening plan, due to come into effect in two weeks, will see the resumption of off-site excursions and activities such as singing and dancing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2021.