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Ontario government reduces allowed gathering sizes across the province

Ontario government reduces allowed gathering sizes across the province

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

DURHAM/KAWARTHA LAKES: Due to the continued rise of COVID-19 cases across Ontario, the provincial government has put restrictions on the number of people who can gather socially in Ontario. They announced the new limits on Saturday, September 19th. A maximum of 10 people can gather privately indoors, down from the previous limit of 50. The maximum amount of people allowed at an outdoor social gathering is now 25 people, down from a previous limit of 100. It is important to note, we cannot combine these numbers. You cannot have 10 people indoors and 25 people in your backyard, for a total of 35. However, businesses will still be allowed to operate at their current status quo. “The new limits will not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, recreational sporting or performing art events. Existing rules, including public health and workplace safety measures for these businesses and facilities, continue to be in effect,” a provincial press release explained. At a press conference, Premier Doug Ford explained the purpose behind setting these new restrictions. “We need to take decisive action, as we did in the earlier stages of [COVID-19] to protect our vulnerable, and to protect the progress we’ve made together,” he said. In the press release, Premier Ford asked all Ontarians to follow the rules, “in order to prevent another provincewide lockdown.” Minister of Health Christine Elliott said these measures are “in direct response to the latest data that tells us private social gatherings are a significant contributor to the recent increasing cases.”

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