Ontario Cracks Down on Gathering Limits Due to COVID-19 Spike — but They Haven't Stopped Concerts and Movies
The new restrictions impact Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region
Published Sep 17, 2020As coronavirus cases in Ontario spike following the loosening of restrictions, Premier Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservative Party have tightened restrictions on gatherings in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region — although this doesn't currently impact movies theatres or live music.
Previously, unmonitored indoor gatherings had been capped at 50 people, while outdoor events had a limit of 100. Those numbers have now been cut to 10 for indoor gatherings and 25 for outdoor.
Bear in mind that this is only for what the government is calling "an unmonitored social gathering or organized public event." Which is to say that gatherings in staffed businesses will still operate under the old rules — including movie theatres, concerts, bars, restaurants and more.
The new rules target parties, dinners, barbecues, weddings, and any other events held in houses, parks and backyards. This only applies to Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region.
For those who break the rules, there will be a minimum $10,000 fine for those who organize a gathering and $750 for those who attend. "This is to send a message to the reckless, careless people who want to hold these parties," Ford announced. "We will throw the book at you if you break the rules."
Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, said, "This targeted action is in direct response to the latest data, which tells us that increased cases are the result of private and social gatherings. By limiting the number of people permitted at a social gathering in these regions, we will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe."
Ontario reported 293 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. Infection numbers have been rising sharply since August.