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Ontario introduces new measures to try to “push back” Omicron variant

DURHAM/KAWARTHA: This week, new provincial COVID-19 regulations have gone into effect in Ontario.

As of Sunday, December 19th, the Ontario government instituted 50 percent capacity limits for Restaurants and bars, Personal care services, retail locations, shopping malls, photography studios, indoor recreation spaces, theatres and cinemas, meeting and event spaces, indoor marina spaces, museums and casinos.

“These limits do not apply to any portion of a business or place that is being used for a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite, or ceremony. Businesses or facilities will also need to post a sign stating the capacity limits [which] are permitted in the establishment,” a provincial press release added.

As well, the province is limiting the number of people who can sit at a table in a restaurant or bar to 10 people, with those patrons being required to stay seated.

“Bars and restaurants and meeting and event spaces and strip clubs that serve food and drink like a restaurant will be required to close by 11 p.m. Take-out and delivery will be permitted beyond 11 p.m. Singing and dancing in restaurants and bars and other select settings will not be allowed except for workers or performers. Food and/or drink services will be prohibited at indoor sporting events; concert venues, theatres and cinemas; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues,” the press release stated.

Lastly, the province has decided to reduce social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

“We need to meet [the Omicron] variant head on. We need to do everything we can to push it back. Over the coming days and weeks, daily Covid cases will continue to accelerate, with Omicron being the most transmissible variant we’ve seen yet,” Premier Doug Ford said, at a press conference on Friday, December 17th.

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