Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he strongly discourages the idea of any new COVID-19 restrictions or retooling of the vaccine passport system after next month, saying the public is “done with this,” pandemic, also alluding to his doubts about the efficacy of third doses and the rift vaccination has caused within his own family.

Yesterday, Ford and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore announced an end to capacity limits in most indoor settings this week and the dismantling of the vaccine passport system on March 1.

Speaking Tuesday, Ford said the public needs to move on when asked what businesses considering keeping vaccine passports in place after March 1 to boost consumer confidence should do.

“We are done with it,” Ford said of limits to public activity. “Let’s just start moving on, cautiously. The world’s done with it, let’s just move forward.”

“We just have to be careful, make sure we wash our hands and move forward.”

He suggested there was little value in further rounds of vaccination, pointing out third doses do not provide ironclad protection from infection with Omicron.

“We also know that it doesn’t matter if you have one shot or 10 shots, you can still catch COVID-19,” he said.

“You see the Prime Minister he has triple shots and I know hundreds of people with three shots, who caught COVID-19, we just need to be careful, always make sure we wash our hands and move forward.”

Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table estimates a third dose is more than 60 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection.

During the past 60 days, the rate of vaccination in Ontario has fallen by nearly 75 per cent from a high of 200,000 doses administered per day.

Forty-eight per cent of adults have a third dose.

UHN infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch said the vaccine passport system in its current form, requiring proof of two doses, is not worth much.

“It doesn’t make a tonne of sense, you either go to three doses or you scrap it,” he said.

He added that given the fact that up to four million Ontarians have been infected with Omicron recently, meaning they have acquired additional immunity from infection and are now advised against getting a third dose until three months have passed, would make changes to the vaccine passport system difficult.

Compounding this issue is most members of the general public lost access to free PCR testing on Dec. 31, 2021.

Ford said the public needed to respect the beliefs of those who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“There’s rebel rousers, and there are just hard-working people that just don’t believe in it, and that’s their choice. This is about democracy and freedoms and liberties. I hate as a government telling anyone what to do, we just have to get out of this and move forward and protect the jobs.”

He said the vaccination question has ruined personal relationships and divided the province.

“I've never seen this province and this country so divided. It’s affected friendships, it’s affected coworkers, it’s affected families.”

Ford even alluded to divisions inside his own family.

“I can tell you guys, I’ve faced all three of them, and let me tell you something, it's challenging, especially on the family side.”

Ford’s daughter, Krista Haynes, has repeatedly criticized vaccine mandates and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines on her social media accounts.