Stephen: Province reports 2 new deaths, 247 recoveries as guidelines updated for sports and gatherings
Published on February 8th, 2022 @ 2:14 PM
Today, the province is reporting 2 new deaths related to COVID-19. There are 23 people in hospital. With 210 new cases and 247 recoveries, there are now 1487 known active cases in the province.
Premier Andrew Furey announced in today’s live COVID update that the province now has the highest percentage of the 5-11 age group vaccinated in North America, at 80%. As well, Premier Furey announced a loosening of COVID restrictions that will allow for expanded play for sports groups. Competitions can begin next week within the same region. Effective this Monday, capacity restrictions will be expanding. Restaurants and bars can operate at 50% capacity with a max table size of 10 people. Other new guidelines:
- Theatres, performance spaces, and bingo halls can operate at 50% capacity, provided proper physical distancing is used
- Gyms and arenas can operate at 50% capacity
- No dancing is permitted at gatherings
- Faith-based services can operate at 50% capacity, provided the NLVaxPass and proper physical distancing is used
Alert levels will no longer be referred to going forward. Guidelines and restrictions will be posted on the Government’s COVID information page.
Based on the relative stability currently being experienced in the province and the trends in other jurisdictions, the Provincial Government is easing a number of COVID-19 restrictions over the coming days.
The first change will come into effect 12:01 on Saturday, February 12, 2022. At that time, faith-based services can move to 50 per cent capacity where the vaccine passport is in place, and 25 per cent capacity where the vaccine passport is not in place. This includes weddings and funerals in faith-based venues.
Effective 12:01 on Monday, February 14, 2022, additional changes will also come into effect:
- Formal gatherings such as weddings and funerals and any events operated by a business or organization are limited to 50 per cent of venue or room capacity;
- Informal gatherings are limited to 20 people;
- Restaurants and bars can operate at 50 per cent capacity with a maximum table size of 10 people and physical distancing between patrons seated at adjacent tables. Eating or drinking is only permitted while seated. Masks may only be removed when eating or drinking;
- Dance floors are not yet permitted;
- Performance spaces, bingo halls and cinemas can operate at 50 per cent capacity. Food or drink is permitted provided physical distancing can be maintained between bubbles. Patrons can remove their masks only when seated and actively eating or drinking; and
- Gyms, fitness facilities and arenas can operate at 50 per cent capacity, provided that physical distancing may be maintained.
In terms of team sports, a return to competition that falls within an organization, team or group’s regular competitive schedule can resume on Monday, February 14, 2022. For example, if a hockey league has always been regional in scope, regional competition may be permitted; however, only single games are permitted, with teams playing a maximum of one game per day. Tournaments of any kind are not permitted at this time.