How public health restrictions differ on each side of the Ottawa River

Residents of Canada’s capital region know there is more than the Ottawa River that divides the two main municipalities, Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

The pandemic has shone a light on the fact the two cities reside in different provinces as Quebec and Ontario have often taken different approaches to public health measures.

But the latest round of restrictions by each province is fairly uniform with a few exceptions. With Ontario’s newest restrictions coming into force Wednesday, here are some things you can and can’t do in both Ottawa and Gatineau.

Restaurants

Gatineau residents hoping to still be able to sit down inside a restaurant by dining out in Ottawa will no longer be able to do so.

As of Wednesday, all indoor dining is prohibited at bars and restaurants in Ottawa. This matches up with Quebec rules that were put in place on New Year’s Eve.

Ontario is allowing outdoor dining with some restrictions. Alcohol sales are prohibited after 10 p.m. and consumption must be stopped at 11 p.m.

Take-out and delivery is allowed to continue in both Ontario and Quebec.

Religious services

Indoor religious services in Ontario are allowed to continue with some restrictions, but only funerals are allowed in Quebec.

© Francis Ferland/CBC Indoor religious services in Ontario are allowed to continue with some restrictions, but only funerals are allowed in Quebec.

All indoor religious services are allowed to continue in Ontario, but must be limited to 50 per cent capacity. That includes weddings and funerals.

Outdoor services in Ontario are allowed as long as the people in attendance can maintain a distance of two metres from each other.

In Quebec a funeral, capped at 25 people, is the only indoor religious service allowed.

Other services, including weddings, can be held outdoors with a maximum of 250 people. An outdoor wedding reception following the ceremony must be limited to 50 people.

Gyms, indoor sports

On both sides of the river indoor sporting facilities and gyms are closed with a few exceptions.

In Quebec, training can continue if practised by a single person, by two people in pairs, or by occupants of the same residence.

In Ontario, Olympic, Paralympic and select professional and elite amateur sport leagues are allowed to continue their training.

Museums, libraries

a bench in front of a building: Unlike in Ontario, museums in Quebec are allowed to be open, but the Canadian Museum of History has decided to remain closed until Jan. 19.

© Simon Lasalle/Radio-Canada Unlike in Ontario, museums in Quebec are allowed to be open, but the Canadian Museum of History has decided to remain closed until Jan. 19.

The Capital region doesn’t lack for museums, but the latest restrictions means most will be closed.

Museums and galleries in Ontario are being forced to close, while in Quebec they are allowed to remain open. Despite that, the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau has decided to remain closed until Jan. 19.

Libraries in both provinces are allowed to remain open. In Ontario, capacity is capped at 50 per cent, while Quebec says they must allow for physical distancing.

Entertainment

Both provinces have suspended indoor entertainment venues, including theatres, concert halls, arcades and cinemas.

Outdoor venues are allowed to continue operating. In Ontario there is a 50 per cent capacity limit, in Quebec most venues will be limited to 250 people and masks are strongly recommended.

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