'Definitely excited': Waterloo Region gyms, restaurants eager to return to full capacity Monday
Business owners in Waterloo Region say they're excited to return to full capacity on Monday.
Friday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford announced more non-essential businesses that require proof of COVID-19 vaccination, including restaurants, gyms, and casinos, can return to full capacity starting next week.
Also beginning Monday, the government will allow other settings like museums and personal care services to lift capacity limits and physical distancing, if they choose to require proof of vaccination.
"I think it's a step in the right direction and happy we are moving forward," said Monica Jutzi with Janet Lynn's Bistro in Kitchener. "Everyone is making reservations and everybody is wanting to get out there. Some are still hesitant but we have been doing well, our numbers are good."
The move toward lifting capacity limits comes as business owners look to financially recover from ongoing pandemic restrictions.
"This will be incredibly significant to our revenue," said David Marskell, chief executive of THEMUSEUM. "I think both that people will be able to come out in large numbers but also psychologically people will say it's safe to."
"We are cautiously optimistic but definitely excited,” said Matt Rolleman, owner of Gym 41 in Kitchener
There's also excitement for further reopening benchmarks in the coming months. The provincial government announced vaccine passports could be phased out in the New Year, with mask mandates potentially lifted late March.
"As we get into the winter and spring we will continue to follow the news to see when we can be wide open," Marskell said.