Loosening of restrictions celebrated, but too late for some newlyweds

Many Windsor-Essex hospitality business owners are celebrating a loosening of restrictions, but for some newlyweds, it wasn’t soon enough.

For the past four weeks, bars and restaurants in Windsor-Essex had to close at midnight and weddings were capped at 100 people.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit withdrew its old letter of instruction on Monday and released a new letter of instruction, allowing the region to move back to provincial COVID-19 regulations.

Bull N’ Barrel owner Andrew Corbett is with Weekend Hospitality - a group that launched an online petition last week calling on the health unit to “cancel the curfew”. It garnered 1,700 signatures.

“It makes a huge impact for all the hospitality businesses in Windsor and Essex county especially in downtown Windsor," Corbett says.

He says the local business owners must stick together and follow the guidelines.

“If the hospitality and business in Windsor-Essex county band together and follows the rules and regulations that the health unit asks us to follow to the best of our ability, I think we’re gonna be out of the woods continue to move forward here,” says Corbett.

“We probably lost 12 events but more importantly we lost seven weddings,” Caboto Club manager Ron Moro tells CTV News.

He says now, business is already starting to pick up.

“A couple of them actually called me this morning and said is there a way we can try and get it back into play before the end of the year, and I said, ‘absolutely. We’re gonna work with you,’” Moro says.

Too late for recently married couples

A newlywed couple say the easing of restrictions is too little too late.

“In our heads we knew that something was gonna change because there were talks about delta variant.” Says newlywed Jason Comber.

Comber and Kristyn Raine tied the knot Sept. 25 shortly after the additional restrictions went into affect.

“I think that you wrecked my wedding, you pay for my day,” says Raine.

They had fewer guests, no dancing, and a last second change of DJ’s because of the vaccination certificate.

While the couple made the most of it, Raine says it was far from a perfect wedding.

“We had really close cousins not attend our wedding because we wanted to be pro health, pro nurses pro whatever,” says Raine. “We did our part. All you had to do was let us dance.”