New COVID-19 restrictions for Ontario announced by Ford
Ontario is rolling back its reopening plans and reintroducing capacity limits in multiple settings, including on social gatherings.
Indoor gathering sizes are also being reduced to 10 people, down from 25. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people, down from 100.
The new restrictions will go into effect on Sunday, December 19 at 12:01 am.
A 50% capacity limit will be reintroduced in indoor public settings. This includes in movie theatres, grocery stores, bars and restaurants and gyms. Food and drink services will also be prohibited at sporting events, casinos, movie theatres and more.
Premier Doug Ford said no decisions have been made about closing schools. He said it is still too soon to know what will happen in the coming weeks.
“We’re simply not in a position to say,” he said.
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Ontario reported 3,124 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. Up 115% from one week ago. The seven-day rolling average is now 1,914.
On Thursday, the province rolled back capacity limits on indoor settings with a usual capacity of 1,000 or more. The capacity limit had been set at 50%.
The news comes just one day after Ontario’s Science Table released their latest models. The models predicted upwards of 10,000 daily cases by the end of the month without “an immediate circuit breaker.”
Speaking with Daily Hive, head of the Science Table Dr. Peter Juni said that capacity limits on large sporting events wouldn’t be enough.
“We need to pull the emergency brake,” Dr. Juni said.
He added that a lockdown could likely be avoided if capacity limits are introduced in spaces where people linger with or without masks, such as movie theatres, restaurants and other indoor events.
The province will also be ramping up their COVID-19 booster dose campaign. Beginning Monday, anyone aged 18 and over can book their booster dose beginning three months after their second dose. This will allow millions of Ontarians to get a third shot.