Toronto extends ban on indoor dining, fitness classes as previous restrictions expire

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Toronto will extend several COVID-19 restrictions, including a ban on indoor restaurant dining and indoor fitness classes, as it moves to combat surging infections.

The city’s top doctor, Dr. Eileen de Villa, says the restrictions will remain in place for another 28 days after they were set to expire on Saturday.

De Villa is also issuing “strong recommendations” to residents that they limit their close contact to those in their household and one or two “essential supports.”

Mayor John Tory said yesterday that Toronto would impose “an enhanced suite of measures” to curb the spread of the virus as the city transitions to the province’s new colour-coded system for pandemic rules.

Another nearby COVID-19 hot spot, Peel Region, has also implemented additional restrictions, such as prohibiting wedding receptions, after being switched to the new provincial system last week.

Peel is the only region currently labelled a red zone, the highest alert level short of a lockdown, but the restrictions imposed under that level are still less stringent than what local public health officials had asked the province to impose.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the tiered, colour-coded system brought in last week is meant to serve as a “baseline” that local health units can build on by adding their own, more strict, rules as needed.