Ontario reimposes some limits due to COVID-19

Ontario is reimposing capacity limits due to the growing threat from the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Beginning Sunday, a 50% capacity limit will be in effect for retailers, restaurants, bars, personal care services, gyms, and several other settings. Additionally, bars and restaurants will have to close at 11 p.m. and patrons will not be allowed to dance.

The province is also reducing the limit for social gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

"Throughout this entire pandemic, we’ve never faced an enemy like Omicron given how quickly it spreads," Premier Doug Ford said in a news release.

"We need to do everything we can to slow its spread as we continue to dramatically ramp up capacity to get as many booster shots into arms as possible. Doing so is the best way to safeguard our hospital and intensive care units," Ford said.

Ontario officials say modelling suggests that the Omicron variant, which is believed to be more transmissible, could put additional strain on hospital capacity.

Quebec has announced similar limits.

The new rules come less than two months after the province dropped capacity limits for restaurants, bars, and sports complexes. The new limits will not apply to weddings, funerals, or religious services.