Stratford News Capacity limits increased for sporting venues as Leafs and Raptors seasons set to begin SHARE ON: Wendy Gray, staff Friday, Sep. 24th, 2021 More fans will be allowed at sporting events beginning Saturday, September 25th at 12:01 am. (photo supplied by Mathew Reisler Vista Radio staff May 2019) Ontario is loosening capacity limits for some indoor and outdoor event spaces. As of Saturday morning, capacity limits will be increased in many of the indoor settings where proof of vaccination is required. Sporting events, meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and convention centres, concerts, theatres, and cinemas; racing venues, and commercial and film television productions with studio audiences will be increased to up to 50 per cent capacity or 10,000 people, or whichever is less for indoor events. For certain outdoor event venues where patrons stand, capacity limits will increase to up to 75 per cent capacity or 15,000 people, or whichever is less. For certain outdoor event venues where patrons are seated, capacity limits will be increased to up to 75 per cent capacity or 30,000 people, or whichever is less. Proof of vaccination will now be required in outdoor settings where the normal maximum capacity is 20,000 people or more to help keep these venues safe for patrons. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health says the province’s key public health and health care indicators have been stable for several weeks and now with the proof of vaccination system now in effect a cautious approach to lifting capacity limits is safe but he says everyone must remain vigilant, “This does not mean we can let our guard down, we must remain vigilant and continuing following public health measure and advice.” When asked if there’s any higher risk with expanding these capacity limits, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Ontario is actually doing pretty well despite some increases in cases. Her deputy, Dr. Howard Njoo added that all of the professional sports leagues and teams Health Canada has dealt with have been very receptive and understanding of the gravity of the pandemic. From a health and safety perspective, Njoo said they’ve done all the right things. Both Tam and Njoo agreed that proof of vaccination systems could double as a tool to motivate more people to get vaccinated, for no other reason than wanting to go to a baseball or hockey game.