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Omicron COVID-19 restrictions: What you can do and can't do in Ontario

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A new set of rules and restrictions come into effect in Ontario on Jan. 5, in an effort to curb the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, labelled a modified Step 2.

These restrictions include halting businesses and services, closing schools and postponing non-urgent surgeries. Social gatherings are limited to five people indoors and 10 people outdoors.

"As we continue with our provincial vaccine booster efforts, we must look at every option to slow the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant," a statement from Ontario Premier Doug Ford reads. "Putting these targeted and time-limited measures in place will give us more opportunity to deliver vaccines to all Ontarians and ensure everyone has maximum protection against this virus."

Here is what you can do and can't do, in Ontario beginning Jan. 5, until at at least Jan. 26:

Are hair salons open in Ontario?

Personal care services, including hair salons, will remain open, but can only operate at 50 per cent capacity.

Saunas, steam rooms and oxygen bars must close.

Are casinos closed in Ontario?

All casinos across Ontario will be closed until at least Jan. 26.

Indoor horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues must also close, in addition to indoor concert venues, theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens, amusement parks and waterparks.

Are ski hills open in Ontario?

Outdoor establishments, including ski hills, can continue to operate, with rules in place for indoor areas associated with outdoor operations.

Spectator occupancy, where applicable, for any outdoor activity is limited to 50 per cent capacity.

Are restaurants open in Ontario?

Indoor dining at restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments is not permitted. Outdoor dining, take out and drive through services can operate.

Alcohol can't be sold after 10:00 p.m. and the consumption of alcohol at businesses needs to stop at 11:00 p.m., with the exception of sales through delivery and takeout services, grocery and convenience stores, and liquor stores.

Are gyms open in Ontario?

Indoor sport and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms, must close. An exception is being made for Olympics and Paralympics training, and elite amateur sport leagues.

Outdoor fitnesses services can operate, with the number of spectators limited to 50 per cent.

Are stores open in Ontario?

Retail settings can remain open at 50 per cent capacity.

For shopping malls specifically, physical distancing is required at all times and food courts must close.

Can you have a wedding ceremony or funeral in Ontario?

Indoor weddings, funerals and religious services, rites and ceremonies, can occur with 50 per cent capacity in a particular space.

Outdoor services are limited to the number of people who in be at the location with two-metres of physical distance between individuals at all times.

Any social gatherings around these ceremonies and services are limited to the social gathering limits, five people indoors and 10 people outdoors.

How will schools operate in Ontario?

All public and private schools will move to remote learning until at least Jan. 17, a slightly shorter timeframe than the other restrictions.

School buildings can open for child-care operations, for in-person instruction for students with special education needs who can't be accommodated remotely, and for staff who can't teach from home.

Is emergency child-care being offered in Ontario?

The Ontario government has stated that free emergency child-care will be provided for children of healthcare workers and "other eligible frontline workers," while there is remote learning in the province.

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