Ontario-based casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments are among settings that will see capacity limits lifted from 25 October.
Following “continued improvements to key indicators” reported by the government of Canada’s most populous province, capacity restrictions on almost all indoor venues where proof of vaccination is required have been removed.
In addition, Ontario’s government will also allow certain settings to remove capacity limits and social distancing requirements should they choose to require proof of vaccination.
This comes after a statement on 22 October from the office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford concerning the gradual removal of remaining public health and workplace safety measures, with the lifting of capacity limits being the first step in the province’s plan for a return to normality.
“Thanks to our cautious and careful approach to re-opening, we are now in position to gradually lift all remaining public health measures over the coming months,” said Ford.
“This plan is built for the long term. It will guide us safely through the winter and out of this pandemic, while avoiding lockdowns and ensuring we don’t lose the hard-fought gains we have made.”
According to the government’s plan, Ontarians should see some measures removed each month, with the exception of December, until March 2022 when it intends for all restrictions to be finally lifted.
Assuming all goes well, the next phase of easing should take place on 15 November when higher risk settings, such as nightclubs, will see their capacity limits removed.
Like every other industry that has experienced closures and capacity limits, Ontario’s land-based gambling sector has suffered, and it is hoped that this step will mark a return to pre-pandemic operating levels.