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A programme that allowed employees to take three paid sick days will be discontinued in Ontario, and several COVID-19 restrictions in long-term care facilities will be lifted.

The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development verified reporting by The Canadian Press that the temporary paid sick days programme will finish up by the end of this month.

The announcement comes a day before the province is scheduled to present its annual budget.

The Progressive Conservative government will continue moving forward with its plan to provide portable health and dental coverage to workers without paid sick days, according to a spokesperson for Premier Doug Ford.

The lifting of these restrictions, according to the ministry, is a part of its initial phased approach to updating COVID-19 measures in long-term care facilities. The decision was made in consultation with Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

5.335 nursing home residents have passed away from COVID-19 since the epidemic struck Ontario in early 2020, according to provincial data. Over that time period, 13 long-term care home healthcare professionals have also passed away.