The scientific director of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says the province should not rush into lifting capacity limits in more places, suggesting that the earliest further easing of restrictions should be at the end of the month.

Dr. Peter Juni told CP24 Thursday evening that Ontario needs to see the impact of the Thanksgiving long weekend and the recent removal of capacity limits for sports arenas and other large venues on COVID-19 case counts.

"What we need to be aware of right now is that we just made a really big step, which is dropping capacity limits in settings such as sports arenas. Now we need to figure out together with the impact of Thanksgiving, also what the impact will be on dropping these capacity limits," Juni said.

"Nobody knows. Nobody has been there with this vaccine coverage and with a Delta being dominant, so we need to see, needs three weeks from the moment we did that, meaning end of October."

Sources have told CTV News Toronto that the Ontario government is set to announce next week its plan to exit Step 3 of its reopening plan. It could lead to lifting remaining capacity limits at restaurants, gyms, and other settings that require proof of vaccination.

Last week, concert venues, sports stadiums and movie theatres were given the green light to operate again at 100 per cent capacity.

Many businesses excluded from the announcement, including restaurants, bars and gyms, voiced their disappointment and called on the province to immediately remove their capacity limits.

However, Juni said Ontario is not on safe ground yet to relax more COVID-19 restrictions.

"The point really is you do something and then you need to be patient and wait for three weeks to see what's happening," he said.

"I wouldn't like to be in our chief medical officers of health's shoes, but so far, he has done a great job, and I hope he can give a little bit of push back against some of the political pressure."

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Dr. Kieran Moore, the province's top doctor, did say that he wants to see whether the Thanksgiving weekend would lead to an increase in cases before the province moves further.

He said that should the trends continue to be positive over the next seven to 14 days, capacity limits could then be lifted in sectors where proof of vaccination is required.

"This is a government decision. It is not mine. It is that of the government. But I hope that as we get through this weekend and get further insights on the impact of the potential spread during Thanksgiving that we will be able to make a recommendation to government to further open up businesses that have been adversely affected," Moore said.

Epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan agreed with Dr. Juni and said it is a bit early to proceed to the next step.

He echoed Juni's comments, saying Ontario should wait until the end of October before lifting more COVID-19 restrictions.

"We have a history in this province of doing things a bit too quickly, getting too excited. We look around the country and we see the lessons from other provinces that we cannot be arrogant with this disease," he said.

"We must be humble and wait to see what its effects are, what it requires of us before we act."

- With files from Chris Fox and CTV Toronto’s Colin D’Mello