COVID-19: Ontario lifts capacity limits for theatres, venues; restaurants, gyms among those left out

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The Ontario government announced the lifting of capacity limits for some locations in the province, however, restaurants and gyms are off the list.

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Cinemas, theatres, spectator sports venues, concert venues, meeting and event venues, horse racing and car racing tracks are the venues that are allowed to open up to 100 per cent capacity till 12:01 am on Saturdays.

The government said it was making changes based on higher vaccination levels, stable public health indicators and vaccine certification requirements that took effect last month.

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“As we continue to see more Ontarians roll up their sleeves with more than 22 million doses, our government is carefully lifting capacity limits in select settings where we know that evidence of vaccination requirements can protect Ontarians.” are providing an extra layer,” said Minister of Health Christine Elliott in a release Friday.

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While the capacity limit has been lifted, health officials are still urging places and locations to maintain safety measures including face coverings, screening and contact tracing.

Where normal capacity is a maximum of 20,000 or more, proof of vaccination is still required for outdoor settings.

Notably omitting from the list are restaurants and gyms asking the province to increase its limits, especially in the wake of the implementation of the vaccine certificate that came into force on September 22.

However, in the release, the province said that the capacity limits would remain in effect for all those not mentioned.

“Chief Medical Officers of Health and Government will continue to review data and trends in key public health and health care indicators to determine necessary and appropriate measures to protect the health and safety of Ontarians.”

As of 8 p.m. Thursday, more than 10.6 million people have been fully immunized with the two doses, which is 82 percent of the eligible (12 and older) population. First dose coverage is 86.8 percent.

Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment said in a release shortly after the announcement, “…we are very pleased to see this day approaching when we are able to welcome a full venue to delight the Maple Leafs and Raptors. “

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With files from the Canadian Press

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