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‘It’s been a tough road opening, closing’: Durham restaurant reacts to Ontario’s reopening

Click to play video: 'Durham Region businesses react to Ontario’s re-opening' Durham Region businesses react to Ontario’s re-opening
Monday marks the first day of Ontario's step to easing COVID-19 restrictions and Durham-area businesses and patrons hope they continue to lift. Ladna Mohamed reports – Jan 31, 2022

Monday marks the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario, including the return of indoor dining with capacity limits in place.

The manager of Crepe Castle in Oshawa welcomes patrons who’ve arrived for the brunch rush.

He says the return of indoor dining is a long time coming.

Read more: Ontario will need to exercise patience as province reopens, Juni says

“It’s good to finally be back. It’s been a tough road opening, closing, opening, closing,” said manager Seiar Aziz.

While it may seem like business as usual, Aziz says guidelines from the province have not been clear and that makes it difficult for businesses to operate.

“With the lockdowns, they assume that you’re just missing out on the time that we’re closed, but they’re not taking in when we do come back it takes about a week to get back to normal. A lot of customers don’t know if we’re reopened,” said Aziz.

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Read more: Quebec restaurants are reopening, but some former workers don’t plan to go back

Durham’s regional chair says while reopening marks a light at the end of the tunnel, Ontario is not out of woods yet when it comes to the spread of COVID-19.

“Now that we’re in this new stage, I’m hoping that the residents of Durham and Ontario continue to do all of the great work they have been doing to deal with COVID-19. We don’t want to see increases in hospitalizations,” said John Henry.

Monday’s reopening plan looks like this: indoor dining is capped at 50 per cent, along with museums, and gyms. Indoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people, while outdoor has a limit of 25.

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