Ontario Premier Doug Ford will announce Thursday that restaurants will be allowed to re-open at 50 per cent capacity starting Jan. 31, Radio-Canada has confirmed.
The news was first reported by CityNews on Wednesday evening. Radio-Canada confirmed the news with a senior government source.
The Ford government put the current restrictions in place on Wednesday, Jan. 5 to slow the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, which had touched off a surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Right now, food and drink establishments in Ontario are allowed to offer only takeout, drive-through and delivery services. No indoor service is allowed.
Restaurants are allowed to have outdoor areas open but those areas are restricted to no more than 10 people from different households per table and to groups larger than 10 people if they are from the same household. Those groups can be joined by a caregiver and a person from a different household who lives alone.
Patrons must remain seated outdoors. There is no dancing or singing. Patrons are screened for COVID-19. And hours for the sale, service and consumption of alcohol are limited.