Ontario to re-enact capacity restrictions for restaurants, bars

Dec 17 2021, 9:12 pm

The Ontario government will be imposing restrictions on restaurants and bars, reducing capacity, and early closures amid the increasing threat of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

In a press conference, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore announced on Friday that indoor settings in restaurants among other spaces will be reduced to 50% capacity as of 12:01 am on December 19.

Bars and restaurants are to close by 11 pm each night with the sale of alcohol to end by 10 pm. However, take out and delivery will be allowed past 11 pm.

Guests in restaurants, bars and food establishments will be allowed to sit at a table with a limit of 10 people and must remain seated.

The consumption of food at sporting events, concert venues, theatres and cinemas, casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments will be prohibited.

The announcement comes after the province reported 3,124 new COVID-19 cases and an increasing threat of the Omicron variant.

Earlier this week, Moore hinted that new restrictions might be coming by the end of the week.

“We’re reviewing all of our policy directions in light of Omicron,” said Moore.

He added that any new restrictions must be proportionate to the risk of Omicron and reasonable as they review current policies.

“That review is being done, has been started as soon as we heard about Omicron and then will be presented to government for options.”

Ford announced on Wednesday that beginning December 20, Ontarians aged 18 and older will be able to book appointments for their COVID-19 booster shots.

In addition to the acceleration, the Ontario government is giving out free rapid antigen tests at pop-up sites and select LCBO stores across the province.

Indoor dining in Ontario only lasted a few months as the province headed into stage three of its reopening this past summer.

Karen DoradeaKaren Doradea

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