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Ontario removes most outdoor capacity limits, would permit Santa Claus parades

TORONTO — Ontario has removed capacity limits at outdoor, organized public events such as Remembrance Day ceremonies and Santa Claus parades.

Some cities, including Toronto, have already opted not to do a traditional Santa Claus parade with crowds this year.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott says outdoor capacity limits are also lifted in most other sectors, such as fairs and festivals, outdoor areas of museums and zoos, and ski hills as well as other outdoor recreational amenities.

Alexandra Hilkene notes that the risk of COVID-19 transmission is significantly lower outside.

Outdoor social gatherings are still limited to 100 people and outdoor capacity limits at nightclubs remain in place.

Other regulatory changes include removing a requirement that vehicles stay two metres apart at drive-in or drive-thru venues.

The province reported 409 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and three more deaths. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 265 of those cases are in people who aren't fully vaccinated or their vaccination status isn't known.

There are 132 people in intensive care units due to COVID-19, including 19 patients from Saskatchewan, and 116 of the ICU patients are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status.

Elliott said 88 per cent of eligible Ontarians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 84.2 per cent have received both doses.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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