indoor dining

Ontario halts all indoor dining in COVID-19 hotspots for 28 days

Starting on October 10, indoor dining will be prohibited in Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa amid spike in cases

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Measures Table, and local medical officers of health and other health experts, the Ontario government is introducing additional targeted public health measures in the Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto public health unit regions. These modified Stage 2 restrictions, which focus in part on indoor dining, will be for a minimum of 28 days and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Effective Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., targeted measures are being implemented in Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto as a result of their higher than average rates of transmission.

Measures under a modified Stage 2 include:

  • Prohibiting indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, including nightclubs and food court areas in malls.
  • Reducing limits for all social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained. The two limits may not be combined for an indoor-outdoor event.

“The health experts presented the most recent health data which identified some alarming public health trends that require immediate attention and early action to keep people safe,” said Premier Doug Ford. “That’s why we are making the difficult, but necessary decision to accept the health advice, and impose further restrictions in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region. By taking action ahead of the long weekend, we will help contain the spread in these hotspots, protect the surrounding communities, shield our seniors and most vulnerable, and contain the second wave surge. At the same time, we are providing support to our small businesses in these hotspots.”

“We are seeing the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 rising, hospitalization rates are growing, and community outbreaks are entering our nursing homes and vulnerable congregate settings,” said Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams. “We need to act quickly, and we need everyone to follow the public health guidelines if we are going to stop the spread and contain the second wave.”

The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts continue to closely monitor the evolving situation across the province to advise if and when public health measures or restrictions should be adjusted or tightened.

As these necessary public health measures come at a cost to small businesses, Ontario has planned to and will make $300 million available to assist significantly affected businesses with fixed costs, including property taxes, hydro and natural gas bills. This support will be provided by the province and will be made available in any region where these measures are necessary. More details will be released in the coming days.

This funding builds on the actions the government has taken to support small businesses throughout the pandemic, including putting in place a temporary moratorium on commercial evictions, making $60 million available for a $1,000 grant for small businesses to offset the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE), and exploring options to permanently allow restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order.

SOURCE: Government of Ontario

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