Hamilton restaurants and gyms can now return to full capacity

As of Monday, capacity limits have officially been lifted in all Hamilton restaurants, bars, fitness centres, and other businesses where proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is required.

It’s a move by the Ontario government that marks the first step of a gradual, phased approach to lifting COVID-19 restrictions over the coming months, as vaccination rates continue to slowly climb and new confirmed COVID-19 cases remain relatively stagnant.

Beginning this past Monday, October 25th, restaurants, bars, gyms, casinos, bingo halls, and indoor meeting and event spaces are officially permitted to allow 100 per cent capacity, with proof of vaccination policies still firmly in effect.

Additionally, other businesses that do not currently require a proof of vaccination policy – such as personal care services, museums, art galleries, indoor aquariums or zoos, indoor historic sites, indoor areas of amusement parks, and more – have now been given the option to allow 100 per cent capacity as well if they choose to enforce proof of vaccination at their business.

It’s the first piece of a multi-phased reopening approach by the Ford government running from now to the end of March 2022, which will see many COVID-19 health and safety measures lifted gradually – from capacity limits to mask mandates – as long as trends in public health and healthcare are positive.

Though the plan may offer a hopeful ‘light at the end of the tunnel,’ it’s also been criticized by Ontarians who express that Ford’s plan should feature more specific public health milestones, including rates of vaccination, as benchmarks to move forward into lifting restrictions.

Read the full release on the Ontario website.

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