Thu. Aug 18th, 2022

Ontario has raised COVID-19 capacity limits in some places, asking patrons to show proof of vaccination, a move that is being met with mixed reactions from various industries.

From Saturday morning, cinemas, theaters, concert and spectator sports venues and car and horse racing tracks must be open to full capacity.

The requirements for physical distancing have been lifted along with capacity constraints with some exceptions such as indoor meeting and event spaces, which still have to hold two meters between people.

Provincial officials said there have been few outbreaks in the options selected and most other public health measures such as masks remain in place.

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COVID-19: Ontario raises capacity limits for theaters, venues; restaurants, gyms among the left out

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Michael Friisdahl, president and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, said he was “overjoyed” that the organization can once again welcome a full meeting place for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors.

“We are grateful to all levels of government for their partnership in this process, and we recognize that there will continue to be a lot of work to do together to ensure the safest environment possible for each event participant and our community,” Friisdahl said in a statement. Twitter.

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said the most important thing is that it has now been considered safe to have full capacity.

Defender Morgan Rielly said the team is looking forward to the crowd.

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“We just missed that mood? it’s hard to put your finger on it, but that’s the feeling when you come late in the match and you hear the noise of the audience, it really gives a team a boost, ”he said.

Cineplex spokeswoman Melissa Pressacco said in a statement that the change is “welcome news” to theaters.

“We are still reviewing yesterday’s exciting announcement and what it will mean for movie lovers in Ontario,” she said.

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Capacity rules continue to apply to other locations that require proof of vaccination, such as gyms and restaurants.

Restaurants Canada said it is “extremely disappointed” that the Ontario government has chosen to lift capacity limits in some places, but not for the “hardest hit” food industry.

In a statement issued Friday, the national, non-profit association representing Canada’s restaurant and food industry said it did not understand why they continue to be “appointed” by the Ontario government and face stricter COVID-19 restrictions.

“It is beyond comprehension that 20,000 people can crowd into an arena, scream and gather close together without masks, while restaurants must adhere to strict distancing rules that greatly limit the number of customers that can be served,” said Restaurants Canada.

Mohamad Fakih, CEO of Paramount Fine Foods, reiterated these remarks on social media, saying that although safe reopening is the No. 1 priority, restaurants and small businesses are being “sinned and punished.”

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Restaurants Canada has called on the province to immediately lift any further restrictions on the industry and provide additional support to recognize the cost of implementing the vaccine passport program.

Jason Sheridan, CEO of GoodLife Fitness, said the gym will continue to comply with public health regulations and look forward to “further collaborative discussions with state stakeholders.”

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The provincial government said it is making the changes based on high vaccination rates, stable public health indicators and vaccine certificate policy.

Ontario reported 654 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths due to the virus on Saturday.

Of the new cases, 464 of those infected are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status. The province said 190 of the cases are in fully vaccinated people.

There are 153 people on intensive care due to COVID-19, including 139 patients who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status.

Provincial data says nearly 87 percent of Ontario residents aged 12 and older have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 82 percent have both shots.

© 2021 The Canadian Press


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