Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet is discussing reducing the size of allowable gatherings in three regions of the province, including Toronto, amid a spike in COVID-19 infections in Ontario, CTV News Toronto has learned.
The province is looking to scale back the size of private indoor and outdoor gatherings in Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa but it is unclear what the new limits will be, government sources confirmed to CTV.
Under Stage 3 of the provincial government’s reopening plan, 100 people are permitted to gather outdoors and 50 are allowed to gather inside.
Sources have also indicated that new limits may not apply to businesses, which have voiced concerns about how more restrictions may impact the viability of their operations.
Ford, who will be holding a news conference at Queen’s Park this afternoon, said Tuesday that certain regions of the province will be seeing additional restrictions imposed in the coming days.
Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa have seen a steady rise in COVID-19 infections over the past week and Ford previously indicated that targeted measures would be coming to curb the spread of the virus.
Ontario recorded 315 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest daily count of infections reported since early June.
Public health officials say many of the new cases in the province have been linked to large private social gatherings and events, including weddings.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has expressed concern over the size of allowable gatherings and told CP24 Wednesday that he had a “productive meeting” with the premier earlier this week where they discussed the possibility of reducing the size of gatherings on a region-by-region basis.
“I offered my support for the province to restrict those social gatherings… I don’t believe we need 50 indoors in a residence and 100 people in a backyard. I think those numbers, although consistent with what’s allowed under Stage 3, probably are larger than we need,” Brown told CP24 on Wednesday morning.
“I get complaints about people having an 89-person backyard party. Well that’s consistent right now with what they are allowed.”
Ford will be joined at today’s news conference by Ontario’s health minister, education minister, and the president of the treasury board.
-With files from CTV Toronto’s Colin D’Mello