'Youaredoingwhatnow?!': Doctors and residents confused, concerned after Ontario eases COVID-19 restrictions

Elisabetta Bianchini
·4-min read
Waiters wearing face masks to protect them from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) while serving patrons at a restaurant patio in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on August 21, 2020. (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Ontario is easing restrictions for restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments in the province's Grey-Lockdown, Red-Control and Orange-Restrict regions.

Effective Saturday, March 20, the new rules will be as follows:

  • Grey-Lockdown regions: Indoor dining prohibited, outdoor dining permitted with physical distancing and other place safety measures

  • Red-Control regions: Indoor dining limited to 50 per cent capacity but cannot exceed 50 patrons, with physical distancing measures in place, outdoor dining also permitted

  • Orange-Restrict regions: Indoor dining limited to 50 per cent capacity but cannot exceed 100 patrons, with physical distancing measures in place, outdoor dining also permitted

Some of the rules that must be followed in all regions include:

  • Limiting tables for indoor dining to members of the same household (exemptions individuals who live alone and caregivers)

  • Limiting tables for outdoor dining in Grey-Lockdown to members of the same household (exemptions individuals who live alone and caregivers)

  • Each establishment must post a sign visible to the public that states the maximum capacity they are permitted to operate under

"While some regions are proceeding to levels with less restrictive measures and adjustments are being made to dining capacity, everyone must continue to adhere to all public health and workplace safety measures," a statement from Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health reads.

"We have entered the third wave of the pandemic and the rates of variants of concern continue to rise so it is important that people remain cautious and vigilant in order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and protect themselves and their communities."

Following this announcement, many people in Ontario took to social media to share their thoughts on these eased restrictions, with many concerned that this is a step too far while the province enters the third wave of the pandemic and cases of more transmissible COVID-19 variants are on the rise.

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