Ontario lifts COVID-19 capacity restrictions for venues used for concerts, sports and movie theatres

TORONTO — Ontario will lift capacity restrictions for certain large venues—including those used for concerts, sports and movies—this weekend.

The government made the announcement in a news release issued Friday afternoon, saying that capacity restrictions will be lifted as of midnight on Saturday.

The following venues will be allowed to be at full capacity:

• Concert venues, theatres and cinemas

• Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (would not include gyms, personal training);

• Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing);

• Horseracing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues; and

• Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.

Proof of vaccination is required at the venues where 100 per cent capacity is allowed.

Other public health measures such as masking and physical distancing will remain in place.

The government says the decision was made due to a “limited number of outbreaks in these settings.”

“In addition, proof of vaccination will continue to be required in outdoor settings where the normal maximum capacity is 20,000 people or more to help keep these venues safe for patrons,” the province said in their release.

Capacity restrictions remain in place for all other businesses, including restaurants.

Previously, indoor spaces such as banquet halls, movie theatres, sporting venues and film productions with studio audiences were limited to 50 per cent capacity or 10,000 people, whichever is less.

For outdoor venues were patrons stand, capacity limits were 75 per cent or 15,000 people. This was increased to 75 per cent or 30,000 people for outdoor events where patrons are seated.

“As we continue to see more Ontarians roll up their sleeves with over 22 million doses administered, our government is cautiously lifting capacity limits in select settings where we know proof of vaccination requirements are providing an added layer of protection to Ontarians,” Minister of Health Christine Elliott said in a statement.

“The fight against COVID-19 is not over and we must all remain vigilant by continuing to follow the public health measures we know work and keep us safe, and receiving your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if you have not already done so.”

This is a developing news story. More to come.

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