Ford reopening ‘pause’ doesn’t make any sense, Filmores owner says
Some owners of businesses hit hardest by the pandemic — nightclubs, strip clubs and wedding venues — are shaking their heads at the Doug Ford government’s latest last-minute move.
The Ford government paused its reopening plan this week, meaning the lifting of capacity limits at vaccine passport-mandated venues like dance clubs will not go ahead as planned Monday.
Howard Adams, president of Filmores Hotel, a well-known adult entertainment club on Dundas Street East, said the decision means he’ll have to stay at 40% capacity while large sports arenas pack in fans.
“I don’t think it makes any sense at all – if the fourth wave is the wave of the unvaccinated, then why are you are you punishing the vaccinated?” Adams said. “Strip clubs, by example, are already legally mandated to only permit in fully vaccinated patrons. So what’s the difference between our business and any other business that’s is required to only permit fully-vaccinated patrons?”
The Ford government’s choice to leave big box stores open and selling non-essential items during the early days of the pandemic drew similar complaints among shuttered small business owners.
In addition to nightclubs and strip clubs, businesses impacted by the pause are bathhouses, sex clubs and indoor wedding venues with dancing.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore has noted an increase in daily COVID-19 cases and warned the virus is spreading mostly in the 20- to 39-year-old age group in indoor spaces where masks are removed.
“Throughout the pandemic, and recently, there have been COVID-19 transmission and outbreaks at many of these settings, especially wedding receptions,” Ontario Ministry of Health spokesperson Anna Miller said in a statement. “These higher risk venues have crowding of individuals in close contact in enclosed settings, where masks cannot always be worn, which increases the risk for COVID-19 transmission and outbreaks.”