Ontario shortens isolation period for fully vaccinated people and implications for retail labour shortages - Retail Council of Canada
Coronavirus | Health & Safety | Ontario

Ontario shortens isolation period for fully vaccinated people and implications for retail labour shortages

December 31, 2021

The Ontario government announcement yesterday a shortened isolation period (to five days) for fully vaccinated people following a positive infection. We expect that this will be welcome news to our members who continue to contend with staff shortages.

A summary of the relevant changes announced today are as follows:

PCR testing changes:

  • Effective December 31, publicly-funded PCR testing will be available only for high-risk individuals who are symptomatic and/or are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including for the purposes of confirming a COVID-19 diagnosis to begin treatment, and workers and residents in the highest risk settings, as well as vulnerable populations.
  • Members of the general public with mild symptoms are asked not to seek testing.
  • A full list of eligible individuals can be found here
  • Most individuals with a positive result from a rapid antigen test will no longer be required or encouraged to get a confirmatory PCR or rapid molecular test.

Isolation periods:

  • Ontario is also changing the required isolation period based on growing evidence that generally healthy people with COVID-19 are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop.
  • Individuals with COVID-19 who are vaccinated, as well as children under 12 (and their household contacts), will be required to isolate for five days following the onset of symptoms. The isolation can end after five days if symptoms are improved for at least 24 hours and all public health and safety measures are followed. Non-household contacts are required to self-monitor for ten days.
  • Individuals who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or immunocompromised will be required to isolate for 10 days.

For questions or more information contact

Karl Littler
Senior Vice-President, Public Affairs
416 467-3783

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