City Expands Capacity at Facilities, Province Expands Capacity Outdoors

It’s getting a bit easier to get together as capacity limits are changing in Guelph and across Ontario as the COVID-19 case loads remain relatively low. Locally, more areas and activities at Guelph recreational facilities will be a little easier to access, while the Government of Ontario is loosening the limits on outdoor gatherings just in time for Halloween, Remembrance Day, and Santa Claus Parade season.

A new order from the Ontario government released Thursday lifts all capacity limits on outdoor organized public events, and it also removes limits on outdoor areas like fairs, zoos, exhibitions and festivals. When the snow arrives, people will be able to ski together too as the capacity limits have been lifted for ski slopes as well.

At the same time, not all outdoor capacity limits have been removed. Limits at restaurants, bars and nightclubs remain in effect, and there’s still a limit of 100 people at any outdoor social gathering. You will also still have to wear a mask and maintain physical distance when possible.

While the new looser restrictions will make it possible to hold Remembrance Day commemorations at both the cenotaph and at McCrae Gardens here in the Royal City, the Downtown Guelph Business Association has already cancelled this year’s Santa Claus Parade. Fergus is still holding its Santa Claus Parade on December 4.

Back in Guelph though, if you should want to stop inside McCrae House or the Civic Museum, you will need to show proof of vaccination starting on October 27, which means that people will no longer have to book their museum visit through Eventbrite. You will also have an easier time at the City’s recreation facilities because locker rooms and shower facilities are now open, in addition to the some of the other program and event spaces. If you’re looking to get involved in a rec program, you can visit the City’s website here.

“This step towards reopening provides a sense of hope. Our community has worked so hard to make it to this point, by getting vaccinated, physically distancing, and following public health measures,” Mayor Cam Guthrie said in a statement. “And let’s not forget the work of City employees, whose commitment and dedication has allowed for the continuity of so many important public services throughout the pandemic.”

Currently, 90.6 per cent of eligible people in Guelph are fully vaccinated, and 93.5 per cent have gotten one shot. Combined with all of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, 85.3 per cent of people in the region born in 2009 or before are now fully vaccinated while 88.1 per cent have gotten at least one shot.

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