Province calls them “difficult, but necessary decisions” to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local medical officers of health, and public health experts, the Ontario government is tightening public health measures.
“The modelling we released this week demonstrates the absolute necessity to take action now to reverse current trends and protect our hospital capacity,” said Premier Doug Ford. “With the weather changing and more people moving indoors, the decision to introduce new restrictions on restaurants, gyms and other businesses was difficult. However, we will do whatever is necessary, acting on the advice of our public health experts, to turn the tide on this second wave and keep everyone safe.”
As the number of new cases continues to rise, the province is taking decisive action to prevent and stop the spread of the virus and avoid future lockdowns. These new restrictions were adopted through the amended order O. Reg 364/20 (Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario [A Flexible Response to COVID-19] Act, 2020). They include mandating the use of face coverings in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces, with limited exemptions, including corrections and developmental services.
Targeted measures will be implemented in Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto as a result of their higher-than-average rates of transmission.
- Setting an indoor capacity limit to restrict occupancy at restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments (including nightclubs) to the number of patrons who can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other patron, to a maximum of 100 patrons, permitting no more than six patrons per table, requiring operators to ensure patrons lining up or congregating outside of their establishment maintain physical distancing, and mandating that the name and contact information for each patron be collected
- Setting a limit on the number of people allowed at meeting and event facilities, including banquet halls, to six people per table and 50 people per facility
“With Ontario’s recent alarming growth in the number of COVID-19 cases, our government is taking further action to help stop the spread of the virus and avoid future lockdowns,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott. “These are difficult, but necessary decisions that are being made to keep people safe, especially our seniors and vulnerable citizens. Everyone must follow the public health guidelines if we are going to stop the spread and contain the second wave.”
This amended order will come into effect on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.
In addition, the government is:
- Extending the pause on any further reopening of businesses, facilities, and organizations for an additional 28 days, unless already permitted to open under O. Reg 364/20
- Pausing social circles and advising that all Ontarians allow close contact only with people living in their own household and maintain two metres physical distancing from everyone else. Individuals who live alone may consider having close contact with another household
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts continue to closely monitor the evolving situation across the province to advise if and when public health measures or restrictions should be adjusted or tightened.
It remains critically important for everyone to continue following public health advice, including everyday actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as practising physical distancing with those outside your household; wearing a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so; washing your hands frequently and thoroughly; and following gathering limits and rules.
SOURCE: GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO