John Tory says extending lockdown could save patio season in Toronto
Toronto mayor John Tory has stated his support for extended lockdown measures in the city suggesting that it could be what saves this summer's patio season.
"What we are trying to avoid is having an opening and then be back into lockdown right when those patios will be opening in May," stated Tory on Wednesday, echoing the concerns of Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa.
Currently, the city's expanded CaféTO program is working toward getting curbside patios safely operating again, should public health orders allow it. Though many fear that opening up the city too early could undo months worth of progress.
Dr. de Villa has said that with the promise of vaccines on the horizon, it's important to ensure this lockdown be Toronto's last. Even opening the city up slightly before it's safe to do so could be dangerous due to the circulation of various COVID-19 variants.
While city restaurants have remained closed for in-person dining since late November, some regions — including Durham and Halton — got the green light to allow limited capacity dining this week.
Though the end appears near, and a summer spent socializing in the sun seems like a hopeful possibility, Toronto health officials continue to remind us of the importance of not rushing out of lockdown.
Staying safe, staying patient, and following safety guidelines could indeed be what saves patio season.
Hector Vasquez at Tallboys
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