Sunday, August 7, 2022

Ontario will gradually loosen restrictions on indoor dining starting January 31, sources say

Sources say Ontario will allow restaurants to reopen at 50 percent capacity on January 31 as part of the province’s plan to lift restrictions over the next few weeks.

The Doug Ford government may make the announcement at Queens Park on Thursday.

Ford is expected to announce that it will replace the closures with capacity limits due in December.

According to sources, the gradual easing of restrictions will happen through February and Ford is pushing for a full reopening in March.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ford said that “restaurants, gyms and others” should expect a positive announcement from the province later this week.

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It is the second time Ford has referred to “positive news” coming soon regarding the easing of the province’s current public health restrictions.

Health Minister Christine Elliott also said the province would have “more to say about any movement this weekend regarding restrictions”.

“We know that people and businesses need certainty on what the future looks like and, as Premier noted yesterday, we will provide more clarity later this week,” Elliott said.

Elliott described a “glimmer of hope” in the province’s COVID-19 data and said infections are expected to peak within a few days.

Meanwhile, business owners in Ontario are desperate for details about the reopening, saying the lack of direction is causing them confusion and mistrust.

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Toronto Health Medical Officer Dr Eileen de Villa said on Wednesday that restrictions in Ontario needed to be gradually lifted.

“The real key here is taking it slowly,” she said. “Take some time to see the impact of the changes before moving on to the next step.”

Nation World News Desk
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