BREAKING | Niagara moves into Orange 'restrict' level as of Monday

ford fri nov 13

Niagara is moving into the orange or 'restrict' zone as the Ontario government changes its colour-coded framework with new thesholds.

Premier Doug Ford making the announcement with Health Minister Christine Elliott and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams today.

Ford announced that after seeing the latest modelling numbers, which showed Ontario could see 6500 cases a day by mid-December, he's taking action.

Niagara is now moving to the 'orange' level of the system. 

Some of the big changes include that restaurants and bars have to close at 10 p.m, liquor can't served after 9 p.m., limit of 4 people seated at a table, and a 50 person indoor seated capacity limit.

For events like birthday parties held at private homes, there is a limit of 10 people indoors, 25 people outdoors.

Organized public events and gatherings have a limit of 50 people indoors, 100 people outdoors.

Religious services, weddings and funerals will be capped at 30% capacity indoor, and 100 people outdoors.

Most of the GTHA will be designated as a red zone in the province’s tiered framework for COVID-19 restrictions, including  Halton, York and Hamilton will be joining Toronto and Peel in the red zone.

People in those areas are being asked to stay at home unless it's essential to leave.

The change comes after the Ford government decided to lower the criteria for moving regions into the category from a weekly incidence rate of 100 new cases per 100,000 people to 40 new cases per 100,000 people.

Niagara is at 44.4 currently, but if you exclude cases from the One Floral outbreak, 33.4

The red category allows for indoor dining at bars and restaurants but with a strict capacity limit of 10 people indoors. 

It also limits capacity in gyms to 10 people inside and prohibits movie theatres from operating.

It should be noted that Ford has called the framework a “baseline” and that individual medical officers of health can still impose additional restrictions.

In Niagara, for example, Dr. Mustafa Hirji has ordered changes to dining and drinking in public so that people can only sit with their ownh ouse members, or caregivers.

Click here to find out more about what this means for you. The changes come into effect Monday November 16 at 12:01 a.m.

  • Red-Control:
    • Hamilton Public Health Services
    • Halton Region Public Health
    • Toronto Public Health
    • York Region Public Health
  • Orange-Restrict:
    • Brant County Health Unit
    • Durham Region Health Department
    • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
    • Niagara Region Public Health
    • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
    • Region of Waterloo Public Health
  • Yellow-Protect:
    • Huron Perth Public Health
    • Middlesex-London Health Unit
    • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
    • Southwestern Public Health
    • Huron Perth Public Health
    • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

 

Here is a rundown of the orange restrictions:

Restrict – orange

General public health measures (gatherings, workplace requirements and face coverings)

  • Events and social gatherings (for example, barbeques):
    • 10 people indoors
    • 25 people outdoors
  • Organized public events and gatherings:
    • 50 people indoors
    • 100 people outdoors
  • Religious services, weddings and funerals:
    • 30% capacity indoors
    • 100 people outdoors
  • Requirement for workplace screening
  • Face coverings required in:
  • Where patrons without face coverings are within two metres of workers, workers much use additional protections such as eye protection
  • Workplaces must develop and implement a communication/public education plan (highlighting risk)
  • Physical distancing must be maintained
  • Non-essential travel from areas of high-transmission to areas of low transmission should be avoided

Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments

  • 50 person indoor seated capacity limit
  • Require patrons to be seated; 2 metre minimum between tables
  • Dancing, singing and performing music is permitted, with restrictions
  • Karaoke permitted, with restrictions (including no private rooms)
  • Require patron contact info (one per party)
  • No buffet style service
  • Night clubs only permitted to operate as restaurant or bar
  • Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metres distance and face covering required
  • Face coverings except when eating or drinking only
  • Eye protection where patrons without face coverings are within 2 metres of workers
  • Limit operating hours, establishments must close at midnight
  • Limit operating hours, establishments close at 10 p.m.
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 9.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information for all seated patrons
  • Limit of 4 people may be seated together
  • Limit volume of music (to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
  • Require screening of patrons (for example, questionnaire)
  • Closure of strip clubs
  • safety plan must be available upon request

Sports and recreational fitness facilities

  • Maximum 50 people per facility (revoke OCMOH approved plan) in all combined recreational fitness spaces or programs (not pools, rinks at arenas, community centres, and multi-purpose facilities)
  • No spectators permitted (exemption for parent and guardian supervision of children)
  • Team or individual sports must be modified to avoid physical contact; 50 people per league
  • Exemption for high performance athletes and parasports
  • Limit duration of stay to 90 minutes except if engaging in sport
  • Limit volume of music to conversation level and prevent shouting by both instructors and members of the public
  • Face coverings required except when exercising
  • Increase spacing between patrons to 3 metres for areas of a sport or recreational facility where there are weights or weight machines and exercise and fitness classes
  • Require contact information for all patrons and attendance for team sports
  • Require reservation for entry; one reservation for teams
  • Require screening of members of the public, including spectators (for example, questionnaire)
  • safety plan must be available upon request

Meeting and event spaces

  • Maximum of 50 people per facility (revoke capacity limit on a per room basis as per OCMOH plan)
  • Booking multiple rooms for the same event not permitted
  • Limit operating hours, establishments must close at 10 p.m.
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information for all seated patrons
  • Limit of 4 people may be seated together
  • Limit volume of music (to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
  • Require screening of patrons (for example, questionnaire)
  • safety plan must be available upon request

Retail

  • Fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls
  • Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metre distance and face covering required
  • Limit volume of music (to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
  • Consider limiting capacity in retail stores and in shopping malls in winter
  • For malls:
    • Require screening of patrons at mall entrances (for example, questionnaire)
    • safety plan must be available upon request

Personal care services

  • Oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools, bath houses, other adult venues, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods closed (some exceptions)
  • Services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited
  • Change rooms and showers closed
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Require screening of patrons (for example, questionnaire)
  • safety plan must be available upon request

Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments

  • Capacity cannot exceed 50 persons
  • Table games are prohibited
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Require screening of patrons (for example, questionnaire)
  • safety plan must be available upon request

Cinemas

  • Limit of 50 people per facility (revoke OCMOH approved plan)Face coverings except when eating or drinking only
  • Drive-in cinemas permitted to operate, subject to restrictions
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Require screening of patrons (for example, questionnaire)
  • safety plan must be available upon request

Performing arts facilities

  • Limits with 2 metre physical distance maintained:
    • 50 spectators indoors
    • 100 spectators outdoors
  • Singers and players of wind or brass instruments must be separated from spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier
  • Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event permitted
  • Performers and employees must maintain 2 metre physical distance except for purposes of the performance
  • Drive-in performances permitted
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Require screening of patrons (for example, questionnaire)
  • safety plan must be available upon request