Toronto urging all restaurants to close dining areas and move to takeout and delivery only
Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa is strongly recommending that all restaurants in the city close their dining areas and instead limit service to takeout and delivery in order to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Dr. de Villa made the announcement during a press conference at City Hall on Monday afternoon, noting it will come into effect as of 12:01 a.m. tomorrow.
Toronto Medical Officer of Health strongly recommends dine-in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and theatres temporarily close. Businesses that provide food takeout and delivery options are encouraged to keep those options available. News release: https://t.co/U07tcbOlcd— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) March 16, 2020
"Dr. de Villa is recommending this unprecedented step to protect the health and safety of all Toronto residents, and to further encourage residents to undertake social distancing – limiting their interactions with other residents to avoid the possibility of spreading COVID-19 through the community," reads a statement from the City.
"Every social interaction that doesn't happen will further prevent the spread of COVID-19 and avoid people carrying the virus to vulnerable residents of our city, including seniors and people with pre-existing health conditions."
We are following the advice of our public health professionals to make sure we are doing everything possible to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and protect our residents and our city.— John Tory (@JohnTory) March 16, 2020
During the press conference, Dr. de Villa said she doesn't take this decision lightly but emphasized the necessity of its implementation.
Toronto now has 77 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the city reported its first community-transmitted cases today.
Dr. de Villa said she will issue orders to individual establishments who don't comply under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, and businesses who are caught defying the recommendation can face fines as high as $25,000 per day.
"I believe these unprecedented public health recommendations are necessary in order to protect the health of all Toronto residents," Dr. de Villa said in a statement.
"Every opportunity to avoid interactions with others helps to prevent the spread of this disease. Every interaction avoided helps to flatten the curve. So, if you can, stay home, help out our city by reducing your interaction with others. Every little bit counts."
Join the conversation Load comments