Ontario lowers capacity limits for sports and concert venues to just 1,000 people
As new daily reported cases of COVID-19 rise exponentially across Ontario, reaching a record 13,807 Thursday morning, residents and experts are growing concerned about the Ford government’s plans to mitigate the spread of Omicron.
Some fear new lockdown restrictions will put a damper on their New Year’s Eve plans, while others fear a lack new restrictions will allow for outbreaks that could eventually overwhelm hospitals.
One thing most people engaged in the discussion seem to agree on is that 10,000 people probably shouldn’t be gathering inside right now to watch sports or see bands perform.
A new report from The Canadian Press suggests provincial officials have been listening and intend to put a new cap on major entertainment and sports venues starting this Friday (i.e. New Year’s Eve).
Update: The province confirmed this measure.
According to a report by The Canadian Press, the Ontario government will announce later Thursday that entertainment facilities are limited to 50% capacity or 1,000 people – whichever is lower. This will come into effect on Friday.
— (((Eric Koreen))) (@ekoreen) December 30, 2021
CP quoted a “high-level government source” when announcing the rumored restriction ahead of a much-anticipated press conference by Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Keiran Moore, on Thursday afternoon.
“The source, who was not authorized to speak publicly ahead of an afternoon announcement on the matter, also said the province will further restrict capacity in large indoor venues beginning Friday,” reads -on in the report, as published by CP24.
“Concert halls, arenas and theaters are currently limited to 50% capacity, but the source said there will also be a hard cap of 1,000 spectators for larger venues.”
From Thursday, all sites with a capacity of more than 1,000 are capped at 50% Where 10,000 customers, whichever is lower.
Massive stadiums such as Rogers Center and Scotiabank Arena (which have capacities of over 53,500 and 19,800 each) can therefore technically still bring together thousands of people under one roof, despite the fact that social gatherings in the private houses are limited to only 10 people. indoors and 25 outdoors.
—blogTO (@blogTO) December 15, 2021
“To further bolster its response to Omicron and reduce opportunities for close contact as the province receives as many vaccines as possible, effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, December 31, 2021, Ontario is limiting spectator capacity to 50% the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less, in the interior areas of the following parameters,” read a statement released by the government late Thursday afternoon:
- Spectator areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g. sporting events);
- Concert halls ; and
“The Government and the Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to monitor the data to determine when it is safe to lift capacity limits in these settings.”