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Nightlife Staff Aren’t Part of Ontario’s Phase 2 Vaccine Rollout

UPDATE: Mar. 22nd. – Officials now say they are included in the Phase 2 rollout to be completed by end of June.

Nightclub and Bar workers will not be included in Phase 2 of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, leading one group to wonder why the government is prioritizing industries that weren’t forced to shutter during lockdown because they were at higher risk during the pandemic.

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When the Ontario government released their comprehensive list of those eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 2 of its rollout two weeks ago, one group was noticeably missing—the nightlife industry.

Phase 2 of Ontario’s COVID-19 rollout is expected to begin in April. In addition to age being a factor, the government said they would be prioritizing “individuals who are at risk of severe outcomes from contracting the virus, those who are at a high risk of spreading the virus to vulnerable individuals, and those at high risk of exposure to the virus in their daily work.”

The government says the nightlife industry would not be included in Phase 2 and that employees would be vaccinated according to their age category.

Nightclubs have been hit hard during the pandemic. Ontario’s lockdown measures forced all nightclubs and bars to close for indoor partying and only allowed patios last summer for a few months if people remained seated outside.