TORONTO -- Ontario will expand COVID-19 vaccine booster eligibility to all adults early in the new year in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

Ontarians 18 and older will be able to book their third dose starting Jan. 4, provided it's been at least six months since they received their second shot.

Health Minister Christine Elliott and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore made the announcement Friday as part of a suite of measures meant to prevent the holiday season from becoming "a super-spreader event."

The province also "strongly" advises residents to limit gatherings over the holiday season and urges employers to make every effort to allow employees to work from home.

Ontario is grappling with a surge in cases, reporting 1,453 new diagnoses on Friday -- the highest daily case count since May 23.

The province announced it is extending its vaccine certificate program until further notice, instead of in mid-January as was initially planned.

The proof-of-vaccination system will also be updated on Jan. 4 so that the certificate equipped with a QR code is the only version accepted.