The Ontario government has announced several temporary measures under a modified stage 2 reopening plan for Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa in an effort to slow the number of people testing positive for coronavirus.
A 28-day order was issued by the Ontario government in response to “higher than average rates of transmission.”
“We need to stop this dangerous trend in its tracks,” Deputy Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott said during a news conference on Oct. 9.
“We know we are asking for very real sacrifices from Ontarians.”
Here are the major changes that come into effect as of 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 10 under the order:
Reduced gathering limits
When it comes to social gatherings, organized public events, tours and guide services, there are caps of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors so long as physical distancing can be in effect. Officials said the limits can’t be combined if there’s an indoor-outdoor event.
Real estate open houses will still be allowed, but there will be a cap of 10 people allowed inside.
In-person teaching and instruction (such as cooking classes), 10 people are permitted indoors and 25 people outdoors. However, schools, child care centres and post-secondary institutions are exempt from the order.
Indoor dining and drinking
When it comes to restaurants, bars, mall food courts, nightclubs and other similar establishments, indoor food and drink service is prohibited.
Personal care settings
For personal care services (e.g. salons) when face coverings need to be removed, those services will be prohibited.
The Ontario government announced indoor gyms and fitness centres, casinos, bingo halls, gaming establishments, cinemas, performing arts venues, viewing areas at racing venues, interactive exhibits and exhibits with a “high risk of personal contact” at museums, galleries, zoos, science centres and landmarks.
As of 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 13, there will be gathering limits at event spaces of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
Staying at home and travel in Ontario
Officials encouraged people to limit trips outside of their households. The exceptions listed were for school, grocery shopping, medical appointments, outdoor physical activity and where it isn’t possible to work from home.
People in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa were encouraged to keep trips to other areas, especially to regions where there are lower rates of COVID-19 transmission, for essential purposes only.
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