ontario last call

Ontario implements 11 p.m. last call for all bars and restaurants

You don't have to go home, but you do have the get the heck up out of every bar and restaurant in Ontario by midnight if you plan on drinking booze.​​​​​​

In an effort to curb the fast-surging spread of COVID-19 among young adults, who've been accounting for more and more of the province's new cases in recent weeks, Ontario's government is banning the sale of alcohol at food and drink establishments after 11 p.m.

The consumption of alcohol will be prohibited after midnight at such places of business, for customers and employees alike.

"Over the past five weeks, Ontario has experienced an increase in the rate of new COVID-19 cases," reads a release from the Ministry of Health issued Friday.

"Private social gatherings continue to be a significant source of transmission in many local communities, along with outbreak clusters in restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments, including strip clubs, with most cases in the 20-39 age group."

So, in consultation with the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario has amended its rules under Stage 3 of the reopening act "to tighten public health measures."

The amended rules will come into effect as of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, and apply to all bars and restaurants across the province.

In addition to implementing an earlier last call, the province has ordered all strip clubs to close entirely.

Government officials say they will also "require businesses or organizations to comply with any advice, recommendations, and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening for COVID-19."

It remains to be seen if these measures will be enough to slow down a second wave of the deadly coronavirus, or if further restrictions up to and including another lockdown are in store.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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