Coronavirus Canada Updates: York Region moving to red control restrictions under Ontario’s covid response framework

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: Halton reports fewer than 50 new COVID-19 cases May 23
Coronavirus Canada Updates: Halton reports fewer than 50 new COVID-19 cases May 23

The Ontario government has announced York Region will be reentering the province’s COVID-19 response framework of restrictions at the red control level.

According to an update issued by the government Friday afternoon, the change in restrictions comes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 22. The current stay-at-home order for York Region will also be lifted.

Officials said the decision was made based on a “general improvement in trends of key indicators.”

York Region will stay in red control for at least two weeks and there will be continual reassessments. However, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams can order a move to grey lockdown in response to concerns about variants.

Long-term care homes will have visitor restrictions and will be required to impose enhanced testing requirements.

The neighbouring regions of Toronto and York will stay in shutdown and won’t see an easing of restrictions for the time being. A stay-at-home order will also remain in effect there. Both measures will be in place until at least March 8.

“While the health indicators have improved enough to allow us to return an additional region to the Framework, we are not yet at the point where we can safely transition back the remainder of the province,” Williams said in a statement.

Here’s what you can and can’t do under Ontario’s red control level of restrictions:

Cannabis stores
Cannabis stores can be open.

Casinos, bingo halls, gaming
Casinos, bingo halls and gaming facilities can operate with caps of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors so long as physical distancing can be maintained.

Table games are banned.

Liquor can only be sold and served between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. and consumption of alcohol is banned between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.

Face coverings must be worn except when eating and drinking.

Facilities will be required to record contact information.

Cinemas, movie theatres, performing arts facilities

These facilities are closed except for drive-in cinemas. Rehearsals or performances being broadcast are allowed without spectators, and performers and employees must be two metres apart. Singers and musicians playing brass and wind instruments must be separated by impermeable barriers.

Meeting and event spaces
Venues can operate with caps of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors so long as physical distancing can be maintained.

The facilities must be closed between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Liquor can only be sold and served between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

A maximum of four people can be seated together.

Face coverings must be worn except when eating and drinking.

Music must be kept to as close to a normal conversation level as possible.

Contact information must be collected and screening is required.

Personal care services
Oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, bathhouses and other “adult venues” must be closed. Sensory deprivation pods also are largely banned with limited exceptions.

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