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The Ontario government announced that outdoor dining will now be permitted in Grey-Lockdown regions as a part of the province’s COVID-19 response framework.
Beginning tomorrow, restaurants and bars in Grey-Lockdown regions of the province, most notably Toronto and Peel, will be allowed to welcome patrons for outdoor dining.
Diners will be allowed to sit at a table together, but only if they are from the same household, with exceptions for people who live alone or are caregivers.
Eager customers are urged to continue maintaining physical distancing rules while dining outdoors amongst all other safety protocols to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID.
In addition, restaurants must limit tables for outdoor dining and have a sign visibly posted that states their maximum capacity to the public. They are also urged to continue to practice public health and workplace safety procedures.
"While some regions are proceeding to levels with less restrictive measures and adjustments are being made to dining capacity, everyone must continue to adhere to all public health and workplace safety measures," said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, in a news release.
Indoor dining is still not permitted in Grey-Lockdown regions, and will remain until cases are suppressed and respective regions move into the Red-Control zone.
Over the course of the past week, city and health officials have promoted the opening of outdoor dining in Toronto, including Mayor John Tory and Dr. Eileen de Villa, in an attempt to jumpstart the province’s economic recovery in this region.
Programs like CaféTO, which helped restaurants and bars in Toronto with limited outdoor dining spaces to expand their seating capacity last summer, will not be activated until early May. This means that only establishments with existing patio spaces and permits will be allowed to serve guests under these new guidelines.
Outdoor dining in Grey-Lockdown regions, including Toronto, will take effect starting March 20 at 12:01 a.m.