Ontario lifts capacity limits for theaters and spectacle sports venues on Saturday
TORONTO – Theaters, theaters, sports halls and several other spaces in Ontario where proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required may open at full capacity this weekend.
The government said on Friday the decision was based on high immunization levels, stable public health indicators and requirements for vaccination certificates that went into effect last month.
“Our government is cautiously lifting capacity limits in some contexts where we know proof of immunization requirements provides an extra layer of protection for Ontarians,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a statement urging people to continue to follow public health orders and get vaccinated.
Concert halls, meeting and event spaces, commercial film and television productions with a studio audience, outdoor spaces with a capacity of less than 20,000 people, horse races and motor racing tracks make also part of the places authorized to open at 100% of their capacity from 12:01 am on Saturday.
The province said there had been a “limited number of outbreaks” in these settings and other public health measures would remain in place.
These measures include masks, screening and the collection of contract tracing information.
The province said two meters of physical distance will not be required in places where capacity limits are lifted, with a few exceptions. He said indoor meeting and event spaces should always limit customers to the number they can maintain a physical distance away.
The CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association said she was “delighted” with the government’s announcement.
“It’s absolutely a step in the right direction and we’re really excited to see it,” said Erin Benjamin.
“I am excited about the industry and not just the places and the artists, but all the companies that support this activity. “
She said the group advocates applying the same to other sites still subject to capacity limits.
A spokesperson for Cineplex said the announcement was “good news” for the movie chain.
“We are taking a look at today’s exciting announcement and what it will mean for moviegoers in Ontario,” Sarah Van Lange said in a statement. “In the meantime, we will continue to focus on the health and safety of our employees and our guests. “
Outdoor facilities where the normal maximum capacity is 20,000 people or more should require people to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
Capacity limits will remain in place for all other parameters. The province said it was continuing to review these measures, which still apply to other settings requiring proof of vaccination such as restaurants and gyms.
Just under 87% of eligible Ontarians had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and almost 82% received both doses.
Ontario reported 573 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 new deaths on Friday. There were 154 people in intensive care units due to COVID-19, of whom 15 were said to have been fully vaccinated.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 8, 2021.
– With files from David Friend.