Ontario is shutting down Toronto patios as the city goes in lockdown
As promised earlier this week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has officially announced further COVID-19 restrictions in Toronto and that includes banning patios at restaurants and bars.
On Friday, Ford and provincial health officials released details on what, exactly, these new restrictions would entail.
"With the numbers rising rapidly in certain regions, we have to make the tough, but necessary decisions now to protect our hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and every person in this province," Ford said in a press release.
"We cannot afford a province-wide lockdown, so we are taking preventative action today by moving Toronto and Peel into Lockdown level restrictions and other regions into higher levels of restrictions. We need to take decisive action to stop the spread of this deadly virus."
Part of this action is limiting bars, restaurants, and food and drink establishments to takeout, drive-thru, and delivery services only.
Indoor and outdoor dining will be prohibited meaning absolutely no patios.
"As we have seen around the world, lockdowns are a difficult but necessary step to stop the spread, safeguard the key services we rely on and protect our health system capacity," Minister Christine Elliott added in the release.
"With the recent positive news on the development of a vaccine, there is a real hope that we can defeat this deadly virus, but for now we all must continue to follow public health advice and strictly adhere to the restrictions in place."
The news comes about a month after the city extended its CaféTO program which would have allowed patios (except for curb lane ones) to remain throughout the winter.
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