York Region business owners call tighter COVID-19 restrictions 'unfair'
NEWMARKET, ONT. -- York Region joins Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region on Friday as Ontario imposed tighter COVID-19 restrictions as cases surge, reverting the region to a modified Stage 2.
That means no indoor dining in restaurants or bars and closing down gyms and movie theatres.
Local business owner Kelly Punzo is crushed at the thought of having to close her fitness studio, Function Studios, once again.
"Anything they've asked, I've done over and over and above that," she says. "And I see Snapchats of kids partying and kids in university."
Punzo says the provincial order is unfair and impacts the people who depend on her business.
"I have women coming in here, really suffering, going through cancer," Punzo says. "They just need an hour to take their mind off their problems and be surrounded by supportive women."
The province's two-day notice on Friday isn't of any comfort to Punzo, but downtown restaurant staff appreciate it.
Kristie Ferrio is the front of house manager at Made in Mexico and says they've invested a lot to beef up their takeout service and believes they can survive the restrictions.
"I'm going to be holding some meetings and figuring out hours of operation, how many staff are needed," Ferrio says. "So, it's a still kind of a work in progress right now."
At Chip+Malt down the street, owner Chris Cormpilas says he will have to make some adjustments, like possibly losing some staff.
"We threw away so much food in the first wave that we had to condense our hours to the weekend only because our fish only lasts for a day or two at most. So if we're only opening up two days, then I can't keep everybody on," says Chip+Malt owner Chris Cormpilas.
Premier Doug Ford said the restrictions would be in place for the next 28 days, but it's unclear how long they will actually last with cases of COVID-19 continuing to climb during this second wave.