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Indoor dining in Toronto will not reopen this weekend as planned

What the revised COVID-19 measures mean for restaurants and bars

In another tough blow for Toronto restaurants and bars, the city announced yesterday that indoor dining will remain closed for at least another month. The news came as an unpleasant surprise for Toronto restaurants, with Ford having previously announced that the city would move into the restrict (orange) level of the COVID-19 response framework, allowing indoor dining to reopen with a 50-person limit on Nov. 14.

With CaféTO curbside patios closing this month to make way for winter snowplows, reducing the number of restaurants that have outdoor dining space, many eateries had been preparing to reopen for indoor dining this weekend. 

With Toronto recording its highest number of new COVID-19 infections yet on Nov. 10, however, the city will now be moving into the control (red) level of the COVID-19 response framework instead. Building on the red level guidelines set out by the province, Toronto also introduced “enhanced” safety measures, which include the continued closure of indoor dining.



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“COVID-19 is spreading at an alarming rate that we haven’t seen before in our city.  While we’ve seen some progress with the temporary restrictions that were imposed last month, more action is required now to protect the people of Toronto from rampant virus spread,” wrote Dr. Eileen de Villa, medical officer of health, in a press release. 

“These decisions aren’t ones I take lightly, however, in my professional opinion they are needed to reduce virus spread, save lives, protect our health system for those who need it most, and mitigate broader health, social and economic impacts.”

Toronto restaurants can continue to offer takeout, as well as outdoor dining. Restaurants across the city are continuing to erect elaborate tent and heating set-ups in an effort to create warm, weather-proof spaces for diners as we head further into November. The red level measures also mean, however, that restaurants will have to stop serving liquor at 9 p.m. and no consumption of alcohol will be allowed after 10 p.m.

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