Amidst a surge in new COVID-19 cases in Ontario, the Ford government is considering implementing stricter measures in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, sources report.
According to CP24, some of these measures include a temporary ban on indoor dining, lowering indoor and outdoor gathering limits (down to five from 10, and mandating full vaccination status), and reducing retail capacity space to 50 per cent for essential businesses, and 25 per cent for non-essential businesses.
If approved, these new measures will go into effect as early as Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022.
The announcement comes after the province of Ontario reported a record-breaking 18,445 new cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday, Jan. 2, 2022. However, the true number of new cases is expected to be much higher, but a shortage of available PCR tests has skewed infection reporting in the province.
Despite currently being allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity, prior to the holidays, many restaurants closed indoor dining early, some due to staff members testing positive for the virus, and others as a precautionary measure.
In 2021, Toronto had one of the longest bans on indoor dining in all of North America, with most establishments seeing shutdowns lasting upwards of eight months.