Capacity limits are being lifted at a number of venues across Ontario, as the province says public health indicators remain stable or are improving.
Queen’s Park says it is cautiously lifting capacity limits in select indoor and outdoor settings where proof of vaccination is required, along with certain outdoor settings with a capacity of below 20,000 people.
As of Saturday, October 9 at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits will be lifted to allow 100 per cent capacity at the following:
- Concert venues, theatres and cinemas;
- Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (would not include gyms, personal training);
- Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing);
- Horseracing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues; and
- Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences
“As we continue to see more Ontarians roll up their sleeves with over 22 million doses administered, our government is cautiously lifting capacity limits in select settings where we know proof of vaccination requirements are providing an added layer of protection to Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “The fight against COVID-19 is not over and we must all remain vigilant by continuing to follow the public health measures we know work and keep us safe, and receiving your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if you have not already done so.”
The province says there have been just a limited number of outbreaks in these settings.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment says all their events at Scotiabank Arena will be at full capacity including games involving the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors.
The Ontario Hockey League, whose season began on Thursday, also welcomed the announcement.
“We are grateful for the continued work and leadership of our government and public health officials led by Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Sport Lisa MacLeod and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore,” OHL Commissioner David Branch said in a statement.
“We’re very excited to welcome OHL fans back for what’s sure to be a great season.”
Restaurants Canada said it is disappointed that the food service industry that has suffered the longest closures and tightest restrictions was left out of Friday’s announcement.
“We have borne the expenses of PPE and safety protocols, as well as the recent introduction of the vaccine passport system despite historic revenue losses. The industry has done everything asked of us, and yet we continue to be singled out,” Todd Barley, the organization’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“Restaurants Canada is calling on the government to immediately lift all further restrictions on the industry and provide additional support to recognize the cost of implementing the vaccine passport program.”