Ontario Government Announces Stricter COVID-19 Regulations in Some Areas

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TORONTO — As COVID-19 cases continued to increase across the province last week, Premier Doug Ford announced tougher regulations during his Friday press conference, asking people across the entire province to now only come in close contact with those inside their household. He also imposed new restrictions for certain businesses in three COVID-19 hotspots.

As of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Ottawa and Peel Region must limit capacity to 100. Toronto Public Health already announced it would limit capacity to 75. 

There is now a maximum of six people allowed per table and each customer’s contact information must be collected for contact tracing. Banquet halls and event spaces must limit six people per table and have no more than 50 people in the facility at a time.

For gyms and fitness centres in the three hotspots, group exercise classes will now be limited to 10 people and the facility must limit its capacity to 50 people. Ontario has also paused any further re-opening for the next 28 days.

The government has also implemented a province-wide mandatory mask order for indoor public settings, including businesses, facilities and workplaces.

Prior to Friday’s announcement, Ontario residents were allowed to create 10-person social circles, which could include those who did not live in their household. “We’re in a second wave of COVID-19 and as Premier, it’s my duty to protect the people,” Ford said on Friday. 

Ford said limiting contact with those outside the household will be “especially important” to consider ahead of Thanksgiving.

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