Ontario’ casinos, bingo halls and other gaming outlets joined other businesses in the province as they returned to operating at full capacity from 25 October.
This sweeping change by the provincial government follows “continued improvements to key indicators” which has allowed for the lifting of capacity restrictions at nearly all indoor venues where proof of vaccination is required.
Ontario’s government has also permitted the suspension of capacity limits and social distancing for specific settings, provided that proof of vaccination is demanded from attendees.
The change comes after a statement released by the office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford on 22 October, that detailed the measured elimination of the lingering public health and workplace safety measures The removal of capacity limits was identified as the first step in the provincial plan to return to pre-pandemic normality.
For laid out his thoughts in the statement, saying,
“Thanks to our cautious and careful approach to re-opening, we are now in a position to gradually lift all remaining public health measures over the coming months. This plan is built for the long term. It will guide us safely through the winter and out of this pandemic while avoiding lockdowns and ensuring we don’t lose the hard-fought gains we have made.”
The government’s strategy involves the monthly removal of identified measures, although December will be excluded, until March 2022 when the expectation is that all measures will have been removed.
If this current plan works out, settings identified as ‘higher risk’, like nightclubs, may see their capacity restrictions lifted as soon as November 15, 2021.
As Ontario’s casino industry has suffered alongside other sectors due to lockdowns, closures and capacity limits., it is not unreasonable to imagine that all who work within it are breathing a collective sigh of relief and hope to be able to use this reprieve to return to a state of pre-pandemic prosperity.