Niagara headed for red tier Monday

grey to red tier in Niagara Niagara moves from the grey-lockdown tier to red-control tier in Niagara region Monday. Photo: The Bench News illustration

The Niagara Region will drop into the red-control tier of the Ontario recovery framework Monday, allowing less restrictive measures.

New COVID-19 cases dropped to 21 Friday in the region with 256 active cases. The move out of grey-lockdown to red-control covers the entire region including West Niagara communities of Grimsby (11 active cases), Lincoln (16 active cases), West Lincoln (8 new cases), Pelham (8 active cases), and Wainfleet(1 active cases).

The red levels allows for hair salons, gyms, and indoor dining to restart with strict capacity limits.

Restaurants can reopen for dine-in service with up to 10 diners at a time. Only members of the same household can eat together. Each table has a limit of four people.

Five people can gather indoors as long as physical distancing can be maintained, and gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed outdoors.

Gyms are permitted to reopen with up to 10 people indoors, including exercise classes with 25-person class sizes outdoors.

The red tier will allow recreational sports to resume for practices. No games can yet be played.

Retail stores can now welcome shoppers up to 50 per cent of store capacity, up from 25 per cent in the grey tier.

Movie theatres remain closed under the red level. They could reopening with limits under the new lower tier: orange.

Click here to see more details on the government’s reopening framework.

Earlier this week 11 of Niagara’s 12 Mayors sent a letter to the government supporting the move to red. Only Lord Mayor Betty Disero withheld her support.

Toronto and Peel continue under a stay-at-home order until at least Mar. 8.

What happens if Niagara moves from red to orange?

Provided COVID-19 cases continue to fall in Niagara, in two weeks it would be eligible for a review, that could allow a further tier drop into the orange tier (or less restrictive tier).

Should that happen, here is what is permissible under the orange tier of the province’s recovery framework:

Organized public events, social gatherings and wedding, funeral and religious services, rites and ceremonies

  • Limits for certain organized public events and social gatherings such as functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, barbeques or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, or parks, where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 10 people indoors
    • 25 people outdoors
  • Limits for organized public events and gatherings in staffed businesses and facilities, where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 50 people indoors
    • 100 people outdoors
  • Limits for religious services rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, where physical distancing can be maintained (applied in any venue other than a private dwelling):
    • 30% capacity of the room indoors
    • 100 people outdoors

Restaurants and bars:

  • Capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 50 patrons seated indoors
  • Outdoor dining, takeout, drive-through and delivery permitted, including alcohol
  • No buffet style service
  • Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; two metres distance and face-covering required
  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • Require patrons to be seated; two metres minimum or impermeable barrier required between tables
  • Limit of four people may be seated together
  • Require contact information for all seated patrons
  • Face coverings required except when eating or drinking only
  • Personal protective equipment, including eye protection, required when is a worker must come within two metres of another person who is not wearing a face covering
  • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Dancing, singing and performing music is permitted, with restrictions
  • Karaoke permitted, with restrictions (including no private rooms)
  • Limit volume of music (to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
  • Night clubs and strip clubs only permitted to operate as a restaurant or bar
  • safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

For more details, including limits on cinema re-opening, arts performances and sporting events, in the orange tier click here