Centre, Peter Piper's Pub owner Peter Moore welcomes guests Tom and Bill, August 2020. DON RICKERS

Household-only dining restriction lifted

​With local COVID-19 case numbers and reproductive rate meeting designated thresholds, the restriction on dining with household members only as part of Section 22 orders in Niagara is being lifted for parties dining outdoors as of today, Thursday, June 24, according to a Region statement.

All other additional restrictions for food and drink premises remain in effect, as do additional restrictions for shopping malls and retail stores.

Local restaurants, bars, wineries, breweries, and other food and beverage service operators will still be required to follow other restrictions in the Section 22 order, the Region says. These include, but aren’t limited to, asking if diners have any symptoms of illness and recording information such as name and contact information.

Niagara businesses and operators are also still required to adhere to the province’s regulations that are currently in place for Step 1 of reopening, including only permitting outdoor dining and limiting it to four people per table. More than four patrons can be seated at a table only if any of the following apply:

  • All patrons are members of the same household
  • One patron is a member of another household who lives alone
  • A patron is a caregiver for any member of either household

While daily cases in Niagara have decreased by 60 percent over the past two weeks, says the Region, progess elsewhere, such as Waterloo and Timmins, is fragile.  “It remains important for everyone to continue to practicing behaviours to help stop the spread of COVID-19, help keep our community safe and keep transmission rates low during this time,” reads the statement.

“Thanks to ongoing vigilance against COVID-19, cases continue to decline in Niagara allowing our businesses to continue to recover,” said Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health. “However, other communities show us that this progress isn’t guaranteed. With the more contentious and more severe delta variant starting to circulate, we need ongoing vigilance around keeping distance, wearing masks, and limiting in-person social interactions until we have the vast majority our population vaccinated with two doses. If you have not already done so, please sign up to get vaccinated so we can make our economic reopening permanent.”

Anyone 12 years of age and older who has not received their first dose are particularly encouraged by the Region to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment as soon as possible. A full list of those who are able to book an earlier second dose can be found on the provincial website.