Starting Jan. 31 at 50%

Ontario casinos and bingos to reopen in a three-step plan imposed by the government

Niagara Fallsview Casino is one of the properties located in Ontario that confirmed its reopening.
Reading time 1:29 min

During a news conference on Thursday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the Ontario government’s plans to gradually ease public health measures that have been in place to curb the spread of the Omicron variant, which includes reopening plans for the Canadian province's gaming halls. Casinos have been closed since January 5 amid Ontario's lockdown.

Ford’s announcement on Thursday confirmed that the province is winding back on restrictions in a gradual way, as the lifting of these measures will take place over the course of three months, with 21 days between each of the three stages. 

As from January 31, casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments will be able to open at 50% capacity indoors. Restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments will also operate under the same parameters. The government clarified that proof of vaccination and other requirements will continue to apply in existing settings. 

By February 21, the day in which the second phase is stipulated to start, capacity limits will be increased by 25% in most activities, and proof of vaccination will still be a must. 

By March 14, capacity limits will be lifted in all indoor public settings.

The first measures taken against the Omicron variant were introduced late December, when new capacity limits were introduced in the province. Casinos did not expect them to affect business at first. However, a new lockdown began on January 5, impacting not only casinos but restaurants, gyms, sporting events and other social gatherings, whether public or private, for three weeks.

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