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Apr. 16, 2021 | Friday
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NOTL mayor urges residents not to have Easter gatherings outside of household
File photo. (Rene Bertschi)

Niagara-on-the-Lake is encouraging residents to stay home and adhere to public health recommendations for Easter as the province transitions into a third lockdown for at least four weeks.

Effective April 3, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., all 34 public health units across Ontario will move into shutdown for at least four weeks, in response to an alarming surge in case numbers and COVID-19 hospitalizations across the province.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, along with the rest of Niagara, will move to the red-control level of the province's COVID-19 framework.

While the province has yet to release its revised regulations, this means indoor public gathering are prohibited and a maximum of five people can gather distanced outdoors, except for gatherings with members of the same household. People living along may gather with members of one household.

Restaurants and personal care services

Capacity is limited to 50 per cent for grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, pharmacies and other stores that primarily sell food. All other retail stores, including big box stores are limited to 25 per cent capacity.

Restaurants must operate as take-out, drive-thru and delivery only.

Personal care services must close, as well as recreation fitness centres like gyms and sports facilities with limited exceptions.

Day camps must also close.

Religious services, weddings and funerals are limited to 15 per cent capacity. Social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.

“I know the toll these restrictions have taken and continue to take on our residents,” said Lord Mayor Betty Disero in an update.

“The province is doing what is necessary to address the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario and the variants of concern, which are spreading rapidly. Despite the successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination across the province, COVID-19, and its variants, still poses a real threat to our health care system. This is an incredibly difficult time for all of us. I know we’re all feeling the exhaustion, and many residents were looking forward to Easter plans with family and friends,” Disero added.

"But we must respond to today’s announcement with an understanding of just how serious this situation is. We must act now to ensure we protect the health and safety of ourselves and those we love. Again and again, we have asked the public to comply with the protocols, wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep a distance, and we are grateful for those of you who are. We are now reminding everyone. Please, stay home, stay safe and save lives.”

Chief administrative officer Marnie Cluckie said staff is monitoring the "rapidly changing circumstances and will continue to respond accordingly and inform our residents and business community of changes."

"Just as we have from the onset of this pandemic, we will continue to put the health and safety of our community at the forefront of all we do. We continue to take the threat of COVID-19 very seriously, and we’re urging residents and visitors to do the same. We cannot stress enough the importance of adhering to all provincial regulations as well as public health recommendations.”

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