Ontario moves into Step 3 of the provincial reopening plan
KITCHENER -- Waterloo Region, along with the rest of Ontario, has officially moved into Step 3 of the provincial reopening plan.
The changes include more relaxed rules for social gatherings, indoor dining and other businesses like gyms, movie theatres and arts buildings.
When it comes to social gatherings, 25 people are permitted indoors and 100 people outdoors.
Indoor dining and gyms also have increased capacity limits.
At Midtown Yoga Kitchener Waterloo, they held their first class at 7:30 a.m. Friday.
“They had virtual classes when things were shut down, but it’s just not the same,” says Emily Cullen, who participated in one of the first classes. “There’s something just so awesome about being together in person.”
Under the new rules, the yoga studio can operate at 50% capacity, which is 21 people per class.
The facility is keeping up its COVID-19 cleaning protocols and everyone is required to stay two metres apart.
Rebecca Rose, the owner of Midtown Yoga Kitchener Waterloo, says anyone taking a class must wear a mask when they enter the studio but can then take if off at their mat.
“It’s just been so great,” she says. “Last night I was like, it feels like Christmas Eve. It’s just so special. Our community is so tight-knit here, so it’s nice for people just to be able to see their workout friends again.”
Restaurants are also opening for indoor dining.
That’s welcome news for the Empress of India in Uptown Waterloo, as the restaurant doesn’t offer patio service.
“It was quite slow for the last few months,” says owner Kamal Hira. “It’s been a tough go, but we made it through.”
He’s now looking forward to booking reservations.
“The feedback has been great the last couple of days. We have had a lot of calls.”
“As much as sitting on a patio is wonderful, sitting inside is a whole different experience,” says Roger Martin.
Step 3 also allows for the reopening of casinos, movie theatres, museums and galleries.
“I think people are really excited just to get out and experience art again, and visit all their cultural institutions,” says Peter Flannery, the curator at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery.
A new exhibit is set to open there on Saturday.