Restaurants to Re-Open in Some Parts of Ontario


TORONTO — A significant list of businesses, including restaurants, will be allowed to re-open in some parts of Ontario, but not in Toronto.

Premier Doug Ford announced yesterday that 24 of Ontario’s 34 public-health units will be allowed to move into Phase 2 on Friday through a regional approach.

“Entering Stage 2 means parts of the province will see more people back on the job and an opportunity to get back together with friends and family,” Ford said. “Although this is extremely encouraging, I urge everyone to exercise caution and continue to follow public health advice as we are not out of the woods yet.”

The remaining 10 public-health units, concentrated primarily in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and near the U.S.-Canada border, will need to wait until new daily case numbers consistently decrease. 

In the regions given the green light to enter Phase 2 on Friday, restaurants, bars and food trucks will be able to open for outdoor dining on patios and in parking lots or adjacent premises. The province is allowing licensed establishments to set up or expand their outdoor eating spaces without an application fee to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. The new or expanded patio will have to be adjacent to the bar or restaurant and the capacity doesn’t exceed 1.11 square metres per person.

The Greater Toronto Area, along with a few others, such as Niagara and Windsor, are not included on the list of regions moving forward into Stage 2 on Friday. The regions excluded from the list will remain in Stage 1 of the re-start phase. The government will provide an update on the ongoing assessment of these regions and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2 at the end of the week.

The province is also increasing social-gathering rules, now allowing up to 10 people as of Friday. The increased social-gathering rules apply to the entire province, regardless of whether the region is moving to Stage 2, but physical-distancing rules still apply.

“As a result of efforts of all Ontarians to stop the spread of COVID-19, many regions have met the criteria to move into the next stage of our re-opening plan,” Health Minister Christine Elliot said in a statement on Monday. “Our regional approach recognizes that different regions in the province are experiencing COVID-19 differently and can safely and gradually ease restrictions and re-open local businesses.”

Businesses that can reopen in regions entering Stage 2 include:

  • Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties
  • Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons
  • Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including foodservice re-opening for take-out and outdoor dining only
  • Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries
  • Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools and all swimming pools
  • Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks
  • Camping at private campgrounds
  • Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing
  • Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations
  • Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing
  • Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people

These are the public-health units moving to Stage 2:

  • Algoma Public HealthBrant
  • County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
  • Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
  • These are the public health units not moving to Stage 2:
  • Durham Region Health Department
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  • Halton Region Public Health
  • Hamilton Public Health Services
  • Lambton Public Health
  • Niagara Region Public Health
  • Peel Public Health
  • Toronto Public Health
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
  • York Region Public Health

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