Following an announcement Friday from Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the provincial government has officially moved Hamilton into the red zone of its new tiered COVID-19 framework.
The move comes as a result of recent concerning spikes in local cases of the novel coronavirus, which have pushed Hamilton to over 400 consecutive active confirmed cases for the first time since the pandemic began. To date, the city has seen a total of 2,415 confirmed cases, with 65 resulting in deaths.
Hamilton is in the CONTROL (Red) stage within the provincial COVID-19 Opening Framework effective November 16. This has implications for how businesses in our community operate. View new rules: https://t.co/ZVYiBBaXgQ. #HamOnt pic.twitter.com/SUDlcxaT5m
— City of Hamilton (@cityofhamilton) November 15, 2020
The red zone, titled ‘Control,’ represents a return to a modified Stage Two and sees numerous measures tightened among various types of businesses, including restaurants & bars, performing arts venues, fitness centres, and cinemas.
Restaurants will temporarily be restricted to a maximum of 10 patrons seated inside the dining room with at least 2 metres of distancing between tables and last call for alcohol sales limited to 9 pm at the latest. Additionally, groups will be limited to a maximum of 4 people, who should all be from the same household.
Fitness centres, gyms, and meeting spaces are similarly restricted to a maximum of 10 people per room indoors, or 25 people outdoors. Additionally, the city is cancelling all of its recreation programs until further notice.
Performing arts venues, including movie theatres, are required to close their doors completely to in-person audiences. Drive-in movie theatres are the exception.
Hamilton residents are strongly advised to only leave home for essential reasons, to wear a mask and maintain social distancing when in public spaces around others, and to not gather with people outside of your immediate household.