Ontario Imposes Additional Restrictions on Restaurants and Bars

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TORONTO — On Friday, the Ontario government announced further restrictions on the restaurant industry affecting hours of operation.

As of midnight, September 26:
• all bars and restaurants must stop alcohol sales as of 11 p.m. and prohibit consumption of alcohol after 12 a.m. (including employees) or before 9 a.m.
• all restaurant establishments must remain close between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m., except for take-out and delivery
• drive-thu and take-out are allowed during all hours, but seating areas must be closed.
• establishments must continue to follow advice and recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

These changes are in effect until further notice.

“In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and other health experts, the Ontario government has amended order O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, to tighten public-health measures in response to the recent rise in cases of COVID-19,” a government statement read. “Over the past five weeks, Ontario has experienced an increase in the rate of new COVID-19 cases. Private social gatherings continue to be a significant source of transmission in many local communities, along with outbreak clusters in restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments, including strip clubs, with most cases in the 20 to 39 age group. To ensure the continued health and safety of Ontarians, reduce the risk of transmission, and limit future outbreaks of COVID-19, the amended order will apply province-wide effective 12:01 a.m. on Saturday September 26.”

“Last week our government took immediate action to respond to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, by setting new limits for certain social gatherings and organized public events across Ontario. As the number of cases have continued to rise, it is evident that despite the tremendous efforts of Ontarians further action is required to prevent the spread of the virus,” says Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “On the advice of Ontario’s public-health officials, we’re moving forward with these measures to help keep Ontarians safe by limiting the potential for exposure in locations where the current risk of transmission is higher and to avoid future lockdowns. Protecting the health and well-being of Ontarians will always remain our top priority.”

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