Police charge five restaurants in one Toronto neighbourhood for illegal indoor dining
Indoor dining has been prohibited in Toronto for a while now and will continue to be for the foreesable future thanks to restrictions introduced last week by the city's top doctor, but some local restaurants have yet to get with the program.
During the city's press briefing Monday afternoon, General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management and Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said enforcement officers proactively inspected dozens of food and drink establishments in the city's Entertainment District this weekend — which has become notorious for partying and rule-breaking amid the pandemic.
Of the 80 restaurants and bars inspected in the neighbourhood over the weekend, Pegg said 71 were found to be in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions.
Officers did, however, find nine establishments that were not in compliance, issuing five charges for illegal indoor dining and four warning letters.
Under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, individuals can now be fined up to $5,000 a day for not following the rules put in place by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, and businesses can be fined up to $25,000 a day.
Fortunately, Pegg did say the vast majority of businesses in the city have been and continue to be in compliance with the rules.
Between June 27 and Nov. 10, for example, Pegg said enforcement officers inspected a total of 4,104 food and drink establishments, and only 376 (or roughly nine per cent) were found to be breaking the rules.
In other words, 91 per cent of businesses inspected were found to be in compliance.
"I want to thank every resident and business owner of this city who continues to do the right thing," he said, "as we all work together to stop the spread of COVID-19."
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