Gyms, restaurants, hair salons to reopen Tuesday in Ottawa, EOHU

The province has announced Ottawa and the region covered by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit will move to orange on the five-colour pandemic scale.

Stay-at-home order to be lifted as some pandemic restrictions relaxed

A woman wearing a mask passes an open store in Kingston, Ont., on Wednesday. The region covered by Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health was moved to a green zone this week. (Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press)

Ontario's stay-at-home order will be lifted in Ottawa and some surrounding areas on Tuesday.

On Friday, provincial officials announced Ottawa and the region covered by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) will move to orange on the five-colour pandemic scale.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit will be moved to green, the lowest level on the scale. The Belleville, Kingston and Renfrew County areas have already returned to green.

That means by Tuesday, gyms, restaurants, theatres and personal care services can reopen across all of eastern Ontario.

In orange zones, restaurants and gyms are limited to 50 patrons at a time, and restaurants must close at 10 p.m.

Ontario entered a provincewide shutdown Dec. 26, followed by the stay-at-home order on Jan. 14, to lower the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Those numbers are down both locally and provincewide, though experts say new, more contagious coronavirus variants could trigger a third wave of the pandemic.

Public health officials are advising people to continue limiting their close contacts to those within their household, wearing masks and observing physical distance guidelines.

City services reopening

The City of Ottawa said in a news release that it plans to gradually reopen many of the services that were open before the provincial shutdown.

The following city activities and programs will resume Tuesday:

  • Public and lane swims at select pools.
  • Aquafitness programs.
  • Weight and cardio rooms.
  • Sport activities.
  • Older adult programming.

Reservations, which are required for most of the above activities, will resume on Sunday.

Starting Tuesday, people can also resume outdoor sports such as hockey on rinks where such activities are allowed. Limits of 25 skaters at larger outdoor rinks and 12 at smaller rinks remain in place.

Public skating at select indoor arenas will start on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Games of shinny hockey will be allowed at outdoor rinks as of Tuesday, subject to capacity limits and physical distancing requirements. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Sledding hills will remain open with a maximum of 25 people allowed to gather at the top and bottom. Physical distancing of two metres must be maintained at all times.

In-person counter services at city hall and Ben Franklin Place will resume on Monday, Feb. 22, but people can start reserving appointments for that week starting Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The National Capital Commission said it's scaling back its closure of the Queen Elizabeth Driveway. As of Tuesday, the section between Fifth Avenue to Somerset Street will reopen to vehicles during the week, and close for active use on weekends, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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