Raptors and Maple Leafs home games to be limited to half capacity as Ontario tightens COVID restrictions

Sports venues will soon be limited to half capacity, leaving fans wondering if they will be able to use their tickets for future Raptors and Leafs games.

Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford announced Wednesday that any place in the province with a capacity of 1,000 or more will be capped at 50 percent starting Saturday at 12:01 a.m. That includes facilities used for sports activities. and fitness arcades, concert halls, theaters and cinemas, race venues, meeting and event spaces and more.

“With Omicron spreading so fast, at such an alarming rate, we need to target the largest crowds indoors, where people are often unmasked,” Ford said.

The reduction in capacity in larger enclosed spaces was one of several amendments to the province’s plan to slow the rapid advance of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which is four to eight times more infectious than the Delta variant, according to the Ontario chief. physician, Dr. Kieran Moore.

“We don’t want to shut down, but we want to limit or decrease risk in those places,” Moore said. “Omicron is definitely a game changer. We have to try to reduce the risk of rapid spread in those settings. “

The Raptors’ game Saturday against the Golden State Warriors will be the first event at Scotiabank Arena under the new restrictions. The Leafs are not scheduled to play their next home game until Dec. 23.

Details on which tickets will be accepted in upcoming games were not immediately available.

“Our ticketing team is currently working on logistics to implement this change and will provide tracking details to all ticket holders within 24 hours,” said Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of Raptors and Leafs, it’s a statement.

MLSE also announced an improved mask protocol at Scotiabank Arena, beginning with the Raptors game on Saturday. Attendees must strictly adhere to all mask wearing protocols or risk being kicked out of the building. Currently, fans are required to wear a three-layer mask that covers the nose and mouth and sits securely under the chin at all times, even when sitting in the stands, unless eating or drinking.

Ford’s announcement comes a day after health experts said Star’s capacity limits should be enforced at sports venues. Some also called for the closure of concession stands to limit the removal of food and drink-related masks, while others said fans should not be at the stands as Ontario battles the ongoing Omicron wave.

The Raptors' game Saturday against the Golden State Warriors will be the first event at Scotiabank Arena under the new restrictions.  The Leafs are not scheduled to play their next home game until Dec. 23.

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