“We have entered the third wave of the pandemic and the rates of variants of concern continue to rise so it is important that people remain cautious and vigilant in order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and protect themselves and their communities.” – Dr. David Williams, Ontario Chief Medical Office of Health
Indoor capacity limits for bars and restaurants in the Red-Control level of the Province’s colour-coded reopening framework are increasing to 50 people effective noon Saturday, according to a press release from the Province.
That includes Barrie and the rest of Simcoe/Muskoka which under existing limits were restricted to 10 people inside of establishments. The new capacity limits will be subject to physical distancing rules. The total occupancy cannot exceed 50 patrons in Red-Control.
On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, the Province is moving eight public health regions to new levels in the COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open. Decisions were made in consultation with the local medical officers of health, and are based on the trends in public health indicators and local context and conditions.
The news comes with a caveat about dangers presented by new variants of the virus and the need to maintain preventative protocols.
“With the significant and increasing risk of COVID-19 variants, the next few weeks will be critical in our fight against COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of our frontline health care workers we continue to accelerate our vaccine rollout, but until all Ontarians can receive the vaccine we must not let our guard down and continue following public health advice. This remains our best defense.”
Measures in the Red-Control and Orange-Restrict zones include:
• Limiting tables for indoor dining to members of the same household with exemptions for patrons who live alone and caregivers
• Limiting tables for outdoor dining in Grey-Lockdown to members of the same household with exemptions for patrons who live alone and caregivers
• A sign posted by the establishment in a location visible to the public that states the maximum capacity (number of patrons) they are permitted to operate under
“While some regions are proceeding to levels with less restrictive measures and adjustments are being made to dining capacity, everyone must continue to adhere to all public health and workplace safety measures,” said Dr. Williams. “We have entered the third wave of the pandemic and the rates of variants of concern continue to rise so it is important that people remain cautious and vigilant in order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and protect themselves and their communities.”