MIDDLSEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The province has confirmed that Middlesex-London will move from orange-restrict to red-control zone under Ontario's COVID-19 guidelines.

There had been much speculation on Thursday, with Middlesex-London Health Unit Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie saying tighter restrictions were likely in the wake of record-setting numbers.

In addition, Windsor and Essex County are moving into the grey-lockdown zone.

Some of the tighter restrictions included in a move from orange to red include:

  • limits on organized public gatherings drop from 10 to five people indoors
  • religious, wedding and funeral services at 30 per cent capacity
  • maximum of 10 people indoors at restaurants, bars and event spaces with no dancing, singing or live music
  • fitness studios can have 10 people indoors in exercise areas or classes and 25 outdoors
  • no team sports except for training (no scrimmages)
  • no athletic activities with individuals coming within two metres of each other
  • maximum of 10 people seated in mall food courts
  • retail stores must maintain two-metre distance between those in line
  • all movie theatres and performing arts facilities are closed except for drive-ins

Full details are available here.

Meanwhile Gateway Casinos announced Friday it will suspend operations at its Western Fair District location as of Monday.

In red, casinos can only admit 10 people at a time including staff, and Gateway has said previously it doesn't make economic sense to open under those conditions.

The new restrictions take effect on Monday.