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Almost all other Gateway locations in Ontario, including Sarnia and Point Edward, will reopen Saturday. Gamblers will be able to play the slots at Western Fair Saturday, and the casino will stress safety and cleaning in the building, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd. said in a release. With Niagara possibly going to Stage 3 of reopening as soon as next week, Niagara Falls’ two casinos are getting ready to open their doors again. In October 2020, the company had already reopened several of its venues, including the ones in Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. However, with new lockdowns instated across the province in December, all venues were closed again. When the casinos reopen, customers will also once again have access to on-site PlaySmart Centres. PlaySmart Centres are where customers can get answers to their questions about gambling and find out how to connect with counselling and supports in the community as needed.

Ottawa Public Health says it’s increasing vaccination capacity at community clinics, mobile clinics and neighbourhood hubs, as Ontario expands eligibility for a second booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Brantford police are issuing an advisory after a man convicted of multiple child pornography-related offences and sexual assault was released in the community. On Wednesday morning, Ontario’s chief medical officer Dr. Kieran Moore announced all adults aged 18 and up can book a fourth dose appointment using the provincial system as of 8 a.m. The horse tracks attached to many of Ontario’s casinos are also relishing their return.

What COVID

As it anticipates reopening soon, Taylor says Niagara Casinos is working with Niagara Region public health and infectious disease prevention experts to implement new health and safety protocols for staff and customers. Now, following the lifting of some restrictions in Ontario, Gateway announced the reopening of all of their casinos, with the exception of Innisfil and Casino Rama in Orillia. Most of the facilities are allowed to operate with a capacity limit of 50 people, using the reservation system that was introduced in October. However, since the District of Thunder Bay is designated a Grey-Zone, the Thunder Bay Casino can only allow 10 customers at any given time. These requirements are aligned with the guidance of provincial and federal public health authorities. Please contact the casino or Charitable Gaming Centre closest to you for more information on reopening details and health and safety requirements. Keeling said returning employees will be given some refresher training, including updates on health and safety protocols. He said a lot of work to equip the casino with safety measures, such as installation of signs and barriers, has already been done. All eight venues that reopened in February are operating under restricted conditions. Most properties are only offering slot machine play, with a limited capacity and only guests from regions not under the stay-at-home orders allowed.

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