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Organizers of the Canadian International AutoShow have cancelled the event, which was scheduled for February, citing capacity limits on indoor venues amid a rise of COVID-19 cases in Ontario.

“It is with great regret that we have to make this announcement, but the health and wellbeing of our community needs to be our first priority,” said Jason Campbell, the show’s general manager, in a statement.

On Thursday, the Ontario COVID-19 Science Table warned in new modelling that the province could see 10,000 cases a day or more in just days as the Omicron variant takes over. On Wednesday, the province reinstated capacity limits. Venues that hold more than 1,000 people will be capped at 50-per-cent capacity starting Saturday. The province did not set an end date.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said the Omicron variant is quickly becoming the dominant strain in Ontario, and it’s thought to be four to eight times more contagious than the Delta variant of COVID-19.

In October, the show announced it would return to the Metro Toronto Convention Center for 2022 after the province increased capacity limits for large events.

Over previous years, the show has averaged about 330,000 visitors over 10 days.

“We’ll be back bigger than ever in 2023 for what will be our 50th year,” Campbell said.

With a file from The Canadian Press

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