Premier announces private gatherings to be restricted to 25 people outdoors, 10 indoors across Ontario, as COVID numbers spike

Doug Ford says the “Alarm bells are ringing” in regards to the uptick in Covid infection numbers.

The party isn’t over but the premier is slamming the door province-wide on large private social gatherings.

Effective now, private gatherings in Ontario are being restricted to 25 people outdoors and 10 indoors, as COVID-19 cases climbed above 400 for a second consecutive day. The measures will remain in place for the next 28 days.

Premier Doug Ford announced the changes at a media briefing on Saturday.

“Over the past several days, we’ve seen alarming growth in the number of COVID cases in Ontario. Three weeks ago,we were around 80 cases, a week ago we were around 200 cases, now we are over 400 cases and climbing. Folks, the alarm bells are ringing.” said Ford.

POSTING: Ontario government

The restrictions will not apply to restaurants, movie theatres and banquet halls, gyms, convention centres and places of worship.

Ford hinted Friday that restrictions were coming down the pipeline as he said he had heard from mayors and chief medical officers of health.

The province initially put restrictions on social gatherings in Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa, the three hot spots in Ontario, where COVID-19 infections have jumped at a rapid pace.

Organizers of these gatherings face a minimum fine of $10,000, and guests will be dinged at least $750.

“This is about everyone’s health and safety, and we have to come down hard on the rule-breakers,” Ford said.

There were 407 new cases of the virus in Ontario on Saturday, up from 401 the previous day.