Changes welcome to Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework

Published March 19, 2021

Restaurants Canada welcomes today’s announcement from the Ontario government, ushering in the following critically needed changes to the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework as of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, March 20:

  • Restaurants operating under the Grey-Lockdown level will be permitted to operate outdoor dining areas, in addition to providing takeout, delivery and drive-thru services.
  • Restaurants operating under the Red-Control and Orange-Restrict levels will be permitted to use percentage-based capacity limits, rather than a hard cap of 10 and 50 patrons, respectively.
  • All establishments permitted to operate indoor and/or outdoor dining areas must have a sign posted in a location visible to the public that states the maximum capacity (number of patrons) they are permitted to operate under and ensure that any guests seated together belong to the same household.

Restaurants Canada appreciates and thanks Premier Ford and his government for listening to our recommendations and acting to recognize the ability of restaurants to reopen safely.

The foodservice industry is ready to work with the provincial government as a trusted partner for helping local communities rebuild and recover, as restaurant dining provides people who are suffering from lockdown fatigue a safe and controlled outlet to return to a sense of normalcy.

Restaurants Canada has created an easy-to-use chart to help foodservice businesses in Ontario navigate public health requirements where they operate, as outlined in the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework.

Establishments must comply with all measures up to and including the level assigned to their jurisdiction.

Marlee Wasser

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