British Columbia Closes Nightclubs and Banquet Halls While Ontario Suspends Re-Opening

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VANCOUVER & TORONTO — British Columbia’s provincial health officer Bonnie Henry has cited nightclubs and banquet halls as a major source of Coronavirus transmission since the province allowed them to re-open, prompting the B.C. government to mandate their immediate closure.

The province has registered 429 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday and recorded two more deaths, both in long-term care homes. In late August, the Vancouver Coastal Health regional health authority announced public displays at three separate nightclubs on Granville Street in Vancouver in one week.

The move makes B.C. the first province to cancel part of its re-opening. On Tuesday, the Ontario government announced it was suspending any further re-opening for at least a month, as school resume and Coronavirus cases rise in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region. Ontario has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, reporting 375 new COVID-19 cases in the past two days.

The pause in re-opening means the 10-person social bubbles and the gathering limits — already at 100 for outdoor events and 50 for indoor events, with physical distancing — will not be widened further. It also maintains these same assembly limits in team sports and sporting events in the province.

“The latest trends in numbers have raised concerns, especially as we begin to re-open schools and post-secondary institutions,” said Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliott during a press briefing. “Taking a break from the re-opening right now will help us avoid reverting to large-scale closings and closings.”

In B.C., there are also revised health-product orders, including a 10 p.m. deadline for alcohol sales in bars and restaurants, which must close at 11 p.m. unless they are serving food.

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