Orléans residents will have to wait another week before they can have a meal at their favourite restaurant or go shopping at a non-essential business.
When Premier Doug Ford announced measures to lift the current stay-at-home order on Monday and slowly reopen non-essential businesses across the province, he named Ottawa among the regions that will be able to reopen on Feb. 16. The extent of the reopening will be based on the weekly incidence rate and the positivity rate. In both cases Ottawa is already in the orange zone based on the most recent data.
According to the province's colour-coded shutdown system, the weekly incidence rate in a region must be between 25 and 39.9 cases per 100,000 before being placed in the orange zone and the test positivity rate must be between 1.3 and 2.4 per cent.
In Ottawa, the weekly incidence rate has been below 40 per 100,000 for the past three weeks and the postivity rate has been below 2.0 per cent since Feb. 3.
Despite the numbers, which are below what they were when the provincial shutdown measures were put in place on Boxing Day, Ottawa must remain under lockdown for another week. That's disappointing news for restaurant owners who were hoping to reopen their dining rooms in time for Valentine's Day. Keeping them closed will cost them thousands of dollars.
Under the orange zone rules, restaurants will be able to accommodate up to 50 patrons at a time as long as a minimum physical distance of two metres can be established between tables. There can be no more than four people per table. Iquor can not be sold past 9 p.m. and they must close by 10 p.m.
One of the reasons to extend the shutdown for another week is to avoid the possibility of large gatherings during the Family Day long weekend
While non-essential businesses and restaurants must remain closed in Ottawa until next Wednesday, they were allowed to reopen in Gatineau on Monday and will reopen in Renfrew County as soon as tomorrow.