The Ontario government, in consultation with the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, has amended orders O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 and O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2, under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, implementing additional measures for restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments, as the province carefully and gradually reopens.
In order to keep patrons of restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments safe, the amended orders will implement the following measures:
All patrons will be required to be seated at all times, in both indoor and outdoor areas, with limited exceptions; and
Bars and restaurants (and also tour boat operators) in Ontario will be required to keep client logs for a period of 30 days and to disclose the client logs to the medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request, which will support case and contact tracing.
Complementary changes are being made in respect of existing provisions relating to tour operators and tour boat operators.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health measures or restrictions can be further loosened or if they need to be tightened.
It remains critically important for everyone to continue following public health advice as more businesses and services reopen in Stage 3. This includes practising physical distancing with those outside your household or social circle, wearing a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so, staying home when ill, and washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.
The amendments read:
Food and drink
Restaurants, bars etc.
1. (1) Restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments may open if they comply with the following conditions:
1. No buffet-style service may be provided.
2. Patrons must be seated when eating or drinking at the establishment.
Note: On July 31, 2020, paragraph 2 of subsection 1 (1) of Schedule 2 to the Regulation is revoked and the following substituted: (See: O. Reg. 428/20, s. 3 (1))
2. Patrons must be seated at all times in any area of the establishment in which food or drink is permitted except,
i. while entering the area and while moving to their table,
ii. while placing or picking up an order,
iii. while paying for an order,
iv. while exiting the area,
v. while going to or returning from a washroom,
vi. while lining up to do anything described in subparagraphs i to v, or
vii. where necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
3. The establishment must be configured so that patrons seated at different tables are separated by,
i. a distance of at least two metres, or
ii. plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
4. No person shall dance, sing or perform music at the establishment except in accordance with subsection (2) or (3).
Note: On August 7, 2020, subsection 1 (1) of Schedule 2 to the Regulation is amended by adding the following paragraph: (See: O. Reg. 428/20, s. 3 (2))
5. The person responsible for the establishment must,
i. record the name and contact information of every patron who enters an indoor or outdoor dining area in the establishment, other than patrons who temporarily enter the area to place, pick up or pay for a takeout order,
ii. maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
iii. only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.
Businesses and sectors unable to open or facing significant difficulties in operating under the current restrictions are invited to visit Ontario.ca/reopen to submit a reopening proposal. Businesses are also encouraged to use the government’s guide to develop a workplace safety plan. Government officials will work collaboratively with them on a plan to safely reopen, where feasible. The plan will be considered by public health officials and the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee as part of Ontario’s approach to Stage 3.
Some local municipalities may have enacted by-laws or local medical officers of health may have issued Section 22 orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, mandating the use of face coverings, and other restrictions, in some settings. Other medical officers of health may have mandated the use of face coverings, and other restrictions, through reference to emergency orders. Refer to local municipal or public health unit webpages for more information.
For questions on restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, review the Stage 3 Emergency Order on the emergency information portal or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1 888 444-3659.
Over 180 guidance resources are available to businesses to help them safely reopen and keep customers and workers safe.
The province has set up a Workplace PPE Supplier Directory, where employers can find suppliers who sell personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to support a safe reopening of their workplaces.
Testing is available at any of the province’s 144 assessment centres currently open. To find your closest assessment centre, please visit Ontario.ca/coronavirus.
The province has developed a practical step-by-step guide to help Ontarians as they safely develop and join a social circle.