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Kingston residents coping with newest Covid restrictions as holiday week begins

Click to play video: 'Kingstonians talk latest COVID-19 restrictions' Kingstonians talk latest COVID-19 restrictions
With public health restrictions back in effect, Kingstonians have their say – Dec 19, 2021

Many Kingston residents were coping with the Saturday snowfall, Global News found when it took to Kingston streets on Sunday. But that’s nothing compared to the impact of new COVID-19 restrictions recently announced by provincial officials.

Restaurants and retailers will feel the pinch. Capacity for many indoor settings is now limited to 50 per cent, while indoor social gatherings have also been limited to a maximum of 10, down from 25.

“I think that we’re in a better place than we were before, in that our understanding of how it’s spread is better,” said Kingston resident Tom Brackenbury, who was busy shovelling snow.

READ MORE: With COVID-19 cases surging because of Omicron, homeless advocates worry

Click to play video: 'With COVID-19 cases surging because of Omicron, homeless advocates worry' With COVID-19 cases surging because of Omicron, homeless advocates worry
With COVID-19 cases surging because of Omicron, homeless advocates worry – Dec 19, 2021

Brackenbury is in favour of rapid testing — whatever it takes to provide safety for people.

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“Locally we’re getting higher numbers and I think our local health unit is taking some extra measures, which we need to. Provincially, I think they may need to look a little more closely at their provincial plan, just given what we’re seeing here in Kingston.”

Kyllie Jansen, a Kingston resident, was out walking her dog.

“I think if we could trust everybody to make the right decision, then we wouldn’t need to put the brakes on, but unfortunately everybody has their own perspective which is understandable.”

At least one downtown business is rolling with the provincial and local punches. That’s the Kingston Olive Oil Company.

“I think the restrictions are good. I think it’s making changes for some stores. We just have been cautious and we already had made those changes,” said Company employee Cameron Durst-Jenkins. “Someone came in yesterday — made sure we were following all the new rules. We’d already been following them.”

While weather sometimes plays a role in making holiday plans, this time around the Omicron variant is what has people discussing possible changes.

“Of course plans have changed. I have friends and family out of the city that wanted to come, but with Kingston being the worst in the province right now, they definitely don’t want to be here. And I don’t want to expose them to that either,” said Kingston resident Dana Babcock, who was with her children taking advantage of the sledding hill at Lions Club Park in the city’s west end.

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“So we’re going to have a small family function and enjoy our Christmas as a small family — and like last year hope that next year is better.”

READ MORE: Ontario distributing free take-home rapid COVID tests over holidays

Click to play video: 'Ontario distributing free take-home rapid COVID tests over holidays' Ontario distributing free take-home rapid COVID tests over holidays
Ontario distributing free take-home rapid COVID tests over holidays – Dec 16, 2021

Tom Brackenbury comes from a big family. They’ve already pared down their holiday gatherings and are planning to break things up into smaller outdoor gatherings, he said.

Almost all agree, during this joyous time of year, there is uncertainty over what lies ahead.

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