Ontario lifts restaurant capacity limits

Bars, and restaurants in Ontario can reopen to full capacity as of today Photo by NastyaSensei / Pexels

By: Laura Steiner – Milton Reporter Staff

The Province of Ontario is moving to the next step in its reopening strategy.  As of today, restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters have their capacity limits lifted.  Sports arenas, concert venues, and theatres (live shows) move to 50%.

For some local residents, it’s about balance. “People should understand that others may have a different risk/reward calculation based on a number of factors, so if people continue to wear masks to not be judgmental,” Dave Chambers said.  The province has indicated that mask mandates  will be one of the last restrictions to drop off.  Ralhek Juna says the onus will soon be on everyone to help combat the illness.  “We’ll all get it at one point and the virus will be endemic.  So it is up to us individuals to take these precautions.”

Chris Hitchcock thinks people should realize that the restrictions served a purpose in saving our healthcare system.  “No one is enjoying the limits we are making to protect one another.  I miss hugs and gatherings, and seeing people’s faces.  Some people have been more affected than others: small business owners in some sectors, poorly paid workers with precarious employment, and those living with vulnerable conditions, to name a few.  We are still in the middle of a global pandemic.  The restrictions suck, but not as much as letting the disease run rampant.  There will come a time when the coast is clear again, but we are not yet there,” he said.

Halton Region has shifted its dashboard away from case numbers in communities to focus on virus spread and severity.  This includes the terminology on hospitalizations.  Patients with COVID-19 can be admitted either with COVID-19, having been diagnosed with the illness.  Or form COVID-19, meaning patients were admitted for other reasons including surgeries, but tested positive for COVID-19 during their stay.