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The new normal for dining in Toronto restaurants

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TORONTO, ON. August 2, 2020 — New normal for dining in restaurants — Under the Province of Ontario’s Stage 3 order, Toronto restaurants and bars – integral parts of the city’s economy – are now permitted to offer indoor dine-in service. They are however, subject to compliance with reopening conditions and implementation of mandatory public health measures.

While many Torontonians are excited for this new development, it is important to note that the dine-in experience will be changed, and people should be prepared for new precautions established specifically for indoor settings, where close contact presents a higher risk of virus spread.

Restaurants and bars are, as of tomorrow, permitted to offer indoor dine-in service.

Here are the new dine-in rules set out by the City of Toronto and Government of Ontario

  • Ensuring all patrons remain seated at all times except when entering or exiting, using the washroom, or paying
  • Separating tables by at least two metres or have plexiglass or other impermeable barriers separating them
  • Requiring the cleaning and disinfecting of amenities, equipment and devices as necessary to maintain sanitary conditions for patrons and staff
  • Maintaining customer logs that include contact information (name, email address and phone number) and date and time of visit to be used by Toronto Public Health for contact tracing purposes
  • Keeping customer logs for 30 days and providing logs to Toronto Public Health upon request for contact tracing purposes
  • Posting signage at all entrances to the premises to identify the necessity of keeping customer logs for contact tracing purposes
  • Establishing staff screening protocols
  • Limiting indoor capacity in restaurants and bars to a maximum of 100 people indoors (provided physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Limiting the number of customers who may be seated at the same table, to a maximum of 10 customers per table

“We continue to do everything we can as a municipal government to help restaurant operators open safely,” said Mayor John Tory. “We are working to support these businesses, while doing what we must to keep Toronto residents safe.”

“Most importantly, we must stay focussed on stopping the spread of COVID-19 right now, and in the event of a second wave. The safety measures put in place will help protect the health of all our residents, including restaurant customers and employees, and help us to continue the restart of our economy,” said Tory.

The new City requirements are being implemented through temporary provisions under the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 545, Licensing. Toronto Public Health guidance for restaurants and signage are available on the City’s website.

The new Ontario regulations  – which were requested by the City of Toronto – can be found online.

Residents are reminded, under the City’s Mandatory Mask or Face Covering Bylaw, restaurant patrons must wear a mask or face covering when indoors. The bylaw includes exemptions for those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, children under the age of two and other accommodations. The bylaw also permits the temporary removal of a mask or face covering when receiving services, such as having a meal.

Residents can learn about what to expect and what is required as Toronto moves into Stage 3 and they begin to visit more establishments and take part in more activities at toronto.ca/ReopenTO.

Read more interesting stories at totimes.ca and mtltimes.ca.

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