Toronto Updates COVID-19 Restrictions on Foodservice Operations

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TORONTO — Toronto City Council has approved several new temporary bylaw amendments that will come into force on October 8, impacting establishments serving food and drinks.

Under these measures, foodservice businesses will be required to limit the total number of patrons inside at one time to 75 (down from 100); maintain a customer log for each patron, not just one person from the party; limit the maximum number of people per table to six (down from 10); and keep background music and any other background sounds to a volume no louder than that of normal conversation.

To help mitigate the impact of the new bylaw amendments on food-and-drink establishments, the council approved Mayor John Tory’s request for city staff to explore ways the city can support the industry through winter patio options. Council also voiced support for the Government of Ontario extending Regulation 719 through 2021, so liquor-sales licensees can continue to sell beer, wine and spirits as part of food orders for takeout or delivery.

“City Council unanimously approved a plan to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 in our city and protect the restaurants most impacted by that plan,” says Tory. “City staff are going to work with food-and-drink establishments to pivot operations and open winter patios while we work with the province to extend Regulation 719, freeze insurance rates on restaurants and continue the pause on commercial evictions.”

Existing temporary City of Toronto COVID-19 bylaws — including the Public Health Measures for Bars and Restaurant in Chapter 54 — were also extended until the end of City Council’s first meeting in 2021.

Further information on COVID-19-related bylaws is available on the City of Toronto’s website.

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