Ontario lifts capacity limits today on restaurants, gyms, casinos


Ontario is lifting capacity limits today at restaurants, gyms, casinos and some other locations where proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is required.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, seen at a press briefing on Friday, said on Twitter that the province is ‘in a good place right now because we stayed cautious and disciplined. That hard work has paid off.’ (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

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Ontario is lifting capacity limits today at restaurants, gyms, casinos and some other locations where proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is required.

If museums and galleries, places of worship and personal care settings choose to require proof of vaccination, they can also lift capacity limits as of today.

Premier Doug Ford announced the development Friday as he unveiled plans for managing the pandemic long term.

The province aims to remove all public health measures meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 by late March, including mask mandates.

Proof-of-vaccination requirements will start to be lifted early next year — as long as trends don’t become concerning — starting with restaurants, bars, gyms and casinos in January.

Health officials in Ontario — where daily case numbers have been trending downward — on Monday reported 326 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths.

From The Canadian Press, last updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

What’s happening in Canada

WATCH | Military help comes to Sask. as calls for COVID-19 restrictions continue: 

Military help comes to Sask. as calls for COVID-19 restrictions continue

The calls for COVID-19 restrictions in Saskatchewan continue as military personnel arrive to support the overwhelmed hospitals that are sending ICU patients to Ontario daily. 1:49

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What’s happening around the world

People wait in line to get a COVID-19 vaccine during a weekend-long ‘marathon of vaccination’ at the National Library in Bucharest, Romania, on Sunday. (Daneil Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)

As of 2 p.m. ET Monday, more than 243.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracking tool. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.9 million.

In Europe, the Romanian government will reintroduce a night curfew and make health passes mandatory for entry to most public venues from Monday.

Meanwhile, Russia reported another daily record of confirmed coronavirus cases Monday as a surge in infections has prompted the Kremlin to tell most people to stay away from work starting later this week.

The Russian government’s coronavirus task force tallied 37,930 new confirmed cases in 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. The task force also reported 1,069 more COVID-19 deaths in the same period, slightly fewer than a record of 1,075 reached over the weekend.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russians not to go to work between Oct. 30 and Nov. 7, when the country will observe an extended holiday. During that time, most state organizations and private businesses, except for those operating key infrastructure and a few others, are to halt work.

In the Asia-Pacific region, children as young as three will start receiving COVID-19 vaccines in China, where 76 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated and authorities are maintaining a zero-tolerance policy toward outbreaks.

Local city and provincial level governments in at least five provinces issued notices in recent days announcing that children ages three to 11 will be required to get their vaccinations.

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The expansion of the vaccination campaign comes as parts of China bring in new measures to try to stamp out small outbreaks. Gansu, a northwestern province heavily dependent on tourism, closed all tourist sites Monday after finding new COVID-19 cases. Residents in parts of Inner Mongolia have been ordered to stay indoors due to an outbreak there.

The National Health Commission reported 35 new cases of local transmission had been detected over the past 24 hours, four of them in Gansu. Another 19 cases were found in the Inner Mongolia region, with others scattered around the country.

In Papua New Guinea, concerted international action is needed as a surge in COVID-19 cases overwhelms the Pacific country’s health system, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said on Monday.

Meanwhile, South Korea said it has achieved its goal of vaccinating 70 per cent of its 52 million people, paving the way for a planned return to normal next month.

In the Middle East, in the United Arab Emirates, health officials on Monday reported one additional death and 97 new cases of COVID-19.

In the Americas, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans can choose a booster shot that is different from their original inoculation — but the recommendation is to stick with the vaccine they got first if it is available.

In Africa, Tunisia imposed COVID-19 vaccine passes on Tunisians and all foreign visitors. Officials, employees and users are required to show their vaccine pass to access public and private administrations.

-From Reuters, The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 2:05 p.m. ET

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