hamilton lockdown

Hamilton moving into grey-lockdown zone of Ontario's COVID framework

Hamilton is going into the grey zone of Ontario's COVID-19 response framework on Monday, joining Toronto and Peel in the "lockdown" club that nobody wants to be a part of.

The provincial government announced the news Friday afternoon, along with some more regulatory changes involving the grey zone (like, on top of those which were announced last week, and all of the others before that.)

Hamilton won't be going into the same grey zone that Toronto and Peel entered on March 8, though, or even into the modified-to-include-patios grey zone that Toronto transitioned into on Monday.

The new, new, new grey zone will "allow the safe resumption of select activities where the risk of COVID-19 transmission can be minimized" — as in, things that happen outside.

Effective Monday, March 29 at 12:01 a.m., the following rules will be in place for Hamilton, Toronto, Peel, Lambton, Sudbury and Thunder Bay (in addition to all non-related existing grey zone rules.)

  • Outdoor fitness classes, outdoor training for team and individual sports and outdoor personal training permitted, subject to public health and workplace safety measures, including, but not limited to: a maximum of 10 patrons, every person maintaining a physical distance of at least three metres from another person, requiring a reservation and active patron screening.
  • Marinas and boating clubs permitted to operate clubhouses or any restaurant, bar and other food or drink establishment for outdoor dining, subject to public health and workplace safety measures.
  • Capacity limits for weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies, will be adjusted to allow for the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance. This change does not apply to social gatherings associated with these services, such as receptions.

And then, two weeks after that, on April 12, Ontario will allow the reopening of "personal care services" such as barber shops, hair and nail salons and body art establishments, all at 25 percent capacity.

Amid the lifting of these restrictions, the government is also making its emergency break a little stronger. This should help assauge at least some of the widespread worry surrounding new, quickly spreading variants and the impacts of a third wave.

Maybe.

"Adjusting the emergency brake to allow for the recommendation to immediately implement shutdown measures in regions experiencing a rapid increase in transmission is important given the changes to the public health measures," said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams on Friday.

"The latest data continues to show some worrying trends throughout the province, and variants of concern remain a significant threat to public health," said Williams.

"That is why it is important that people remain cautious and vigilant in order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and protect themselves and their communities."

Lead photo by

City of Hamilton


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