Removal of capacity limits for some outdoor events prompts MLHU to lift Section 22 Order

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP

The Middlesex-London Health Unit said an order issued in September to re-iterate gathering limits on social events and parties is being lifted in order to comply with updated provincial COVID-19 regulations.

On Thursday, the province announced the removal of capacity limits at outdoor, organized public events, like Santa Claus parades, as well as for fairs and festivals, outdoor areas of museums and zoos, and ski hills and other outdoor recreational amenities.

“Certainly, we understand the province’s decision to move in that direction, given the ongoing low incident rates and the lack of outbreaks seen in those settings,” said associate medical officer of health Dr. Alex Summers on Thursday, shortly after the announcement.

The latest health and medical news emailed to you every Sunday.

“The requirements for vaccination are critical to all of this. The other thing that makes those settings lower-risk is that they are outdoors rather than indoors.”

Story continues below advertisement

The MLHU said Friday that its related Section 22 order is no longer required given the changes to the Reopening Ontario Act and would therefore be lifted.

Summers did not rule out the possibility of future Section 22 orders, explaining that health officials will be monitoring the situation.

“At a local and a provincial level, you can be sure that the data around transmission in these settings will be followed closely and if necessary, additional measures can be put in place.”

The health unit is still encouraging people to maintain two metres physical distance from others and, when physical distancing is not possible, to wear a mask regardless of whether they’re indoors or outdoors.

Summers added that limits are still in place for indoor and outdoor private social gatherings and for indoor public events.

“These limits continue to be important and will be enforced as we all aim to reduce the transmission of COVID-19,” he said.

Private social gatherings are limited to 25 people indoors and 100 outdoors while organized public indoor events are limited to 25 people, the MLHU said.

Story continues below advertisement

with files from The Canadian Press

Sponsored content