stage 2 ontario

Movie theatres ordered to shut down in Toronto and Cineplex CEO says he's disappointed

The buzz about Toronto moving into a modified form of Stage 2 lockdown was confirmed on Friday, with a slew of new measures slated to be imposed at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday following Premier Doug Ford's emergency cabinet meeting.

Among them are the re-closure of gyms and a moratorium on indoor dining at bars and restaurants — and now, the shuttering of movie theatres and casinos, among other types of businesses.

Also on the list are performing arts centres and venues, interactive exhibits or "exhibits with high risk of personal contact" in museums, team sports games, and personal care services that can't be performed with a mask on.

New rules for operation have also been placed on other types of businesses, with new capacity limits for real estate open houses, in-person teaching and instruction (though notably, not for actual schools) and in meeting and event spaces.

The restrictions will also come into effect in fellow "hot spot" regions Peel and Ottawa, where, along with Toronto, new COVID-19 case numbers have consistently been the highest in the province.

The province announced a staggering 939 new cases of COVID-19 Friday morning — the highest number we've seen since the onset of the pandemic — with 336 of them in Toronto, 150 in Peel and 126 in Ottawa.

Local health officials and citizens of more remote and thus less virus-ridden areas are among those who have been calling for more stringent protocols in the three urban centres.

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