Dec 17, 2021
By Christine Ross
The Ford government has announced new stringent measures to control the spread of the Omicron variant. Starting Sunday, indoor gatherings must be limited to 10 people and 25 outdoors. Bars and restaurants must close at 11 p-m. Groceries and pharmacies must cut capacity by 50 per cent. Food and drink at large outdoor venues will be banned.
“So far we’ve had two individuals in hospital out of over 1,000 that have been detected to be OMICRON variant,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore.
He says these new restrictions should help buy the province time to get booster shots into arms.
And Dr. Moore is also recommending you avoid gathering with older adults unless you have three doses.
“I personally would advise you to avoid social contact with anyone older even with two doses, if you going to interact I’d advise you do it outdoors with masking and distancing in place.”
The new measures that come into effect at midnight Sunday don’t apply to weddings, funerals or religious services.
The province has offered no new financial supports to small business.
Doug Ford is adamant he didn’t mislead anyone when earlier this week he said comparing a large sporting venue and a small restaurant was like comparing apples and bananas.
So why the about face in just days?
“Well this is moving rapidly and there could be possible changes in another week, it could change as we see these numbers accelerate and I’m being up front with people, these numbers will accelerate.”
Ford says his government is not in a position to say definitely what will happen with the school year in January saying it’s too early to make the call.
Omicron is thought to be four to eight times more transmissible than the Delta variant that fueled the fourth wave of the pandemic.