Ontario imposes new limits on Ottawa bars, restaurants and gyms
OTTAWA -- New "targeted restrictions" are being imposed on Ottawa's bars, restaurants, nightclubs, gyms and meeting and event facilities in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The measures include limiting capacity in food and drink establishments to a maximum of 100 people, with six people allowed at each table.
The new restrictions were announced on a day Ottawa set a one-day record with 142 new cases of COVID-19.
Premier Doug Ford announced the "targeted restrictions" for Ottawa, Peel and Toronto due to the higher than average rates of transmission. The new measures include:
- Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments will be limited to a maximum of 100 patrons with no more than six patrons per table. Establishments must also ensure patrons lining up and congregating outside of the establishment maintain physical distancing
- Gyms and other fitness settings must limit capacity to a maximum of 50 people. Group exercise classes at gyms and other fitness settings are restricted to 10 individuals
- The number of people allowed at meeting and event facilities, including banquet halls, is limited to six people per table and 50 people per facility.
Effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Ontario is also expanding the mandatory mask policy to all areas of Ontario.
Speaking with reporters Friday morning, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said she favoured targeted measures for bars, restaurants and gyms to limit the spread of COVID-19.
"I think those are important areas to look at, reducing the opportunity for close contact where there's no mask, and there's no distance," said Dr. Etches.
"These are the kind of things we've been raising to the province that we need to make sure where people aren't wearing a mask, there's no distancing; we send a message that you need to keep it to members of your household and limit those activities."
CTV News Ottawa asked Dr. Etches if she would look at moving Ottawa back to Stage 2 if the number of cases of COVID-19 reached a certain number.
"I don't want to recommend going back to Stage 2 or Stage 1. I want us to avoid the closure of businesses and the devastation to our economy," said Dr. Etches.
"What I know is that we can change the trajectory of transmission in our communities with our own action, it's been done we can do it again to avoid those kinds of things being necessary. We need to look at targeted approaches to where the transmission is occurring, and the behaviours that are causing the transmission."