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Nov. 26, 2020 | Thursday
Local News
COVID UPDATE: NOTL cases decline but restrictions tightened
File photo/Rene Bertschi

Niagara-on-the-Lake is down to two active cases of COVID-19, as the Niagara region moves into the province's recently updated orange "restrict" level.

As of Tuesday, the following emergency orders are in effect by the province across all of Niagara's 12 municipalities.

  • Contact information required for all seated patrons.
  • No more than four people seated together.
  • Volume of music to be limited to conversational level.
  • Safety plans to be prepared and provided upon request.
  • Face coverings required at sport and recreational facilities except when exercising.
  • Face coverings required at all indoor workplaces.
  • Eye protection required for workers coming within two metres of patrons not wearing face coverings.
  • Increase spacing between patrons to three metres for areas of a sport or recreational facility where there are weights/weight machines and exercise/fitness classes.
  • Recreational programs limited to 10 people per room indoors and 25 outdoors.
  • Require contact information for all patrons and attendance for team sports.
  • Require appointments for entry; one reservation for teams.
  • Social gatherings limited to 10 people indoors or 25 outdoors (may not be combined).
  • Limit operating hours, establishments close at 10 p.m.
  • Liquor sold or served only from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor from 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.
  • Require screening of patrons at businesses and/or mall entrances (e.g. a questionnaire).
  • Closure of strip clubs.
  • Fitting rooms limited to non-adjacent stalls.
  • Maximum of 50 people at a supervised event indoors or 100 outdoors (may not be combined).
  • Maximum 50 people at any event, sport or recreational venue in all combined recreational fitness spaces or programs (not pools, rinks at arenas, community centres, and multi-purpose facilities).
  • Limit duration of stay (e.g. 60 minutes) at sport and recreational facilities; exemption for sports.
  • No spectators at sporting venues or events permitted (exemption for parent/guardian supervision of children).
  • Personal care services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited.
  • Change rooms and showers closed.
  • Bath houses, other adult venues, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods closed (some exceptions).
  • Religious services, weddings, and funerals limited to 30 per cent capacity indoors or 100 people outdoors.

In addition to provincial restrictions, Niagara's acting medical officer of health Dr. Mustafa Hirji has placed further restrictions on restaurants and bars, including not dining with anyone from outside of your household and having hand sanitizer at every table.

Restaurants that don't follow the orders risk a fine of $750.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero said Hirji also said local bylaw officers and Niagara Regional Police will be responsible for enforcement of the new orders.

Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Hirji also has the power to direct bylaw officers or the police to enforce orders, Disero said.

"However, Dr. Hirji has given no direction. I can tell you that even if he does give such direction the town would be challenged in resourcing enforcement in this respect." 

Restaurant owners across Niagara have voiced strong opposition to the new guidelines, calling for Hirji's resignation and for his orders to be rescinded.

Meanwhile, NOTL has adjusted hours of the community centre, arenas and has released some information about plans for the Christmas parade.

The community centre will be closed on weekends due to lack of attendance, Disero said. In the fitness centre, the change rooms will be open but the showers will be closed. The walking track has been moved from the gym to the auditorium to allow more people to take part.

The arenas will be closed to spectators, except for one parent or guardian per participant to stay and watch if the participant is under the age of 18. Disero said town staff are working on a way to offer online viewing for parents who want to watch virtually.

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Christmas parade will be different this year, Disero said.

"It will not be the traditional parade on Queen Street, but it will be a smaller one and Santa will parade through all five villages so that citizens who are young at heart can watch from the comfort of their home or street. We're working on the route and safety measures. More information will come next week."

 

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