OTTAWA -- COVID-19 restrictions will be slightly relaxed for bars, restaurants, gyms, personal care settings and other businesses in Alexandria, Cornwall, Casselman, Clarence-Rockland, Hawkesbury and other areas of eastern Ontario.

The Ontario government has announced the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region will move to the "yellow-protect" zone from the orange zone, effective Monday.

The City of Ottawa will remain in the "orange-restrict" zone, which includes capacity limits in bars and restaurants, fitness centres, gyms and cinemas.

Eastern Ontario moves back to the yellow zone, one week after Ontario moved the region to the "orange-protect" zone.

Under the "yellow-protect" zone, bars and restaurants may serve liquor until 11 p.m., with no alcohol consumption allowed between 12 a.m. and 9 a.m.  The maximum number of people allowed to be seated together is six.

Spectators will also be allowed at sports and recreation facilities. Capacity limits for gyms and fitness centres will be 10 indoors for classes, 25 people outdoor for classes and 50 people indoors in the facility.

Eastern Ontario's move to the "yellow-protect" zone means personal care settings are not prohibited from offering services where face masks must be removed.

Speaking on Newstalk 580 CFRA's "Ottawa at Work" with Leslie Roberts on Friday, Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said the move to the "yellow-protect" zone is not "cause for celebration."

"We're still in the yellow-protect zone and we still need to monitor the outings and so on."

Host Leslie Roberts asked Dr. Roumeliotis if he's concerned about people from Ottawa or western Quebec coming to eastern Ontario.

"It's always a concern that we have, but I think we manage it. Our restaurants here require the precautions need to be taken, although we're recommending people don't travel from one region to another unnecessarily."