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As conflicting opinions mount regarding whether to cease restaurants and bars from allowing dine-in patrons, it seems unclear what best practices are necessary to keep the community safe. To avoid inflicting any more dire repercussions to this hospitality industry's livelihoods, dine-in seating remains -- yet now, with a few caveats.
Starting today, October 8, the City of Toronto is imposing a new set of restrictions targeted at bars and restaurants to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
The city's medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, introduced the following measures, which have officially been approved unanimously in council last week.
The new measures are as follows:
The new measures come at a time when Ontario sees itself entering the second wave of the virus. As officials continue to grapple with how best to uphold the public's health without further hurting the economy, Mayor John Tory called it a tough decision after the bill passed in council.
To minimize the ramifications the bylaws will have on the industry, council has approved a motion from Tory that will work towards a solution to keep patios open all year round.
Premier Doug Ford has been very vocal about the irreparable damage to the hospitality industry if Ontario were to revert to prior restrictions. In response to whether Ford would consider closing indoor dining, the Premier has said that he needs to see concrete evidence before making such an impactful decision. Ford says he wants to exhaust every single avenue before ruining someone's life.
This comes in stark contrast to Dr. Eileen de Villa, who has urged officials to ban indoor dining for the next four weeks to prevent further spread of the virus.