stage 3 toronto

These are the rules for restaurant dine-in service during Stage 3 in Toronto

Toronto is officially moving into Stage 3 of reopening this Friday and that means restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen for dine-in service. 

But of course, like with literally everything else, businesses and patrons will have to follow a host of rules to ensure safety for all amid the pandemic.

According to the province's framework for reopening the economy, all restaurants, bars, concession stands, and other food and drink establishments may open for indoor dine-in under Stage 3. 

Buffet-style service and nightclubs, on the other hand, are not allowed to reopen just yet. 

For those eating and drinking establishments that can resume operations, staff must ensure that all patrons remain seated when eating or drinking, and they're required to take "appropriate measures" to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres is maintained between patrons from different tables unless they are separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier. 

Musical performances are allowed in restaurants and bars as long as there are barriers between performers and patrons and physical distancing is observed, while dancing is only allowed if performed by someone working at the establishment with restrictions.

Like nightclubs, private karaoke rooms are not yet allowed to resume operations, but regular karaoke in restaurants and bars is permitted with restrictions including barriers, physical distancing and increased cleaning and disinfecting. 

"Physical distancing of two metres between patrons from different households or social circles also continues to apply to food trucks, food courts, concession stands and tours, including tastings at wineries, breweries and distilleries," notes the framework.

In addition to these provincial rules, the city is also implementing a list of measures specifically for Toronto due to the city's size and density.

City council approved Mayor John Tory's motion to introduce these new rules earlier today, including indoor capacity and table size limits, mandatory staff screening, requiring that patrons remain seated at all times unless they're going to or from the washroom or paying, and requiring that establishments record contact information of patrons and provide this information to Toronto Public Health when needed for contact tracing.

Regardless of the size of the space, restaurants will be required to allow no more than 100 people indoors at one time and tables will also have a maximum capacity of no more than 10 people (indoors and outdoors). 

On top of the mandated measures, some restaurants outside Toronto that are already open for Stage 3 have implemented their own additional safety measures, such as mobile ordering and temperature checks, so it's safe to say some businesses within the city will likely do the same. 

"As bars and restaurants have been linked to new outbreaks in other cities, Toronto is proceeding with caution in order to try to make indoor dining as safe as possible," said Toronto Board of Health Chair Joe Cressy  in a statement Wednesday.

"Getting to Stage 3 is an important achievement for our city, and was only possible thanks to the commitment and dedication of residents across Toronto. However, we need to remember that our work is not over yet."

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