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Government of Ontario announces new public health measures starting December 19

From 12:01 a.m. on December 19, the Government of Ontario will impose new public health restrictions to slow the spread of the Omicron variant until the vaccination program can ramp up. The restrictions will include:

  • A 50% capacity limit on indoor settings bars such as restaurants, gyms, retailers, or personal care services
  • Restaurants and bars must close at 11 p.m. except for take-out and delivery. No alcohol may be served after 10 p.m.
  • Private indoor social gatherings are limited to ten people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to twenty-five
  • Only ten people may be seated per table in restaurants and meeting spaces
  • Patrons at restaurants, bars, etc. must remain seated at all times
  • Singing and dancing at venues is prohibited except for workers and performers
  • Venues such as stadiums, theatres, casinos, and so forth will not be permitted to serve food or drink

No decision has yet been made on whether schools will be closed or restricted in January, the Premier said.

Ontario has joined Quebec in asking for federal measures to support businesses and workers, and promised that they would look at future options to offer their own supports, although no specifics were offered during the media briefing.

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All travellers will once again need a molecular COVID-19 test before arriving in Canada

Canada is increasing testing requirements for international travellers and dropping its travel ban on flights from 10 African countries as the government tries to quash the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, CBC news reports.

Starting Tuesday, all travellers will once again need to get a COVID-19 molecular test before returning to Canada. The announcement from Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos rolls back an exemption announced last month that fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents taking short trips abroad, under 72 hours, wouldn’t need proof of a negative test before returning home.

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Alexis Higginbotham
Executive Director
60 East Main Street
Welland, ON
L3B 3X4
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