Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Monday the province will lift several pandemic restrictions earlier than originally scheduled but said the move is not because of the ongoing trucker protests in the Canadian capital of Ottawa and at several border crossings with the United States.
"Given how well Ontario has done in the omicron wave, we are able to fast-track our reopening plan," Ford said.
Health officials in the province said COVID-19 infections peaked last month.
One of the biggest restrictions being lifted is the proof-of-vaccination requirement starting March 1. Additionally, the province will lift some capacity limits for businesses beginning February 17.
Previously, the restrictions had been planned to ease in two steps starting February 21 and March 14.
The western province of Alberta is also easing restrictions. Beginning Monday, school children will no longer be required to wear masks in school.
The trucker protests have stretched into a third week, with truckers demanding an end to vaccine mandates. Ford has been highly critical of the protests, in which truckers have paralyzed streets in parts of Ottawa and temporarily blocked a key bridge connecting Canada and the U.S.
Some information in this report comes from Reuters.