TORONTO – COVID-19 Update – Ontario is popping the circuit breaker to try to limit the growth of the Omicron variant.
The restrictions will include a 50 per cent reduction in capacity.
“Throughout this entire pandemic, we’ve never faced an enemy like Omicron given how quickly it spreads,” stated Premier Doug Ford. “We need to do everything we can to slow its spread as we continue to dramatically ramp up capacity to get as many booster shots into arms as possible. Doing so is the best way to safeguard our hospital and intensive care units.”
The new restrictions will apply to:
- Restaurants and bars
- Strip clubs
- Personal care services
- Physical fitness trainers
- Retailers and shopping malls
- Areas of facilities used for sports and fitness activities, including gyms
- Indoor recreational amenities
- Indoor clubhouses
- Tour and guide services
- Photography studios
- Marinas and boating clubs
The government said the limits do not apply to a portion of a business that is being used for a religious service, funeral, or wedding.
The number of people permitted to sit at a table in a restaurant will be limited to ten.
Bars, restaurants, meeting and event spaces and strip clubs will be required to close at 11 pm. However, takeout orders will be allowed to continue. Alcohol sales will be restricted after 10 pm.
Patrons in restaurants and bars will be required to remain seated and dancing will not be allowed, other than by workers or performers.
The finance minister says that there will be some targeted support for business announced in coming weeks.
Many small businesses including restaurants and bars are expressing serious concerns over the impact of the Omicron Variant on their businesses.