Toronto City Hall and other civic buildings will reopen on Jan. 4, says Toronto Mayor John Tory.
Staff will return to work at their respective workplaces beginning Jan. 4 for three days a week. Returning city staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, said Tory.
“While office staff who have worked from home account for approximately 25 per cent of the City’s overall workforce of almost 33,000, 75 per cent of City staff have never worked from home and have been working throughout the pandemic, and continue to work on the front lines,” states a news release.
At City Hall, the public will be able to access the lobby, washrooms, library, first floor counter services, and attend scheduled meetings with city councilors.
“By re-opening our buildings and bringing back our fully vaccinated office staff, the City of Toronto is leading by example and encouraging other employers to do the same,” Tory said.
“City staff have laid out a safe and cautious return to office plan and will continue to monitor the pandemic day by day. I am confident that this safe and responsible return to the office at the City and at major employers over the coming weeks will help ensure that Toronto comes back stronger than ever.”
This news comes as a new variant, named Omicron by the World Health Organization, was detected in Ontario.
Tory said despite that development, the city needed a plan with a firm date to give employees sufficient notice. However, the decision was made in consultation with local health officials and took account high vaccination rates and compliance into account.
“Between now and [Jan. 4] we will continue to implement the plan carefully and responsibly, but we will be watching every single day,” Tory told reporters. “At no time would we ever consider doing anything that was contrary to the best interests of the health of our own employees … We have almost 100 per cent of them vaccinated.”
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