Indoor Dining Returning to Ontario
by David Klemt
Operators and their employees and guests in Ontario, Canada, have a real reason to celebrate this week.
On Friday, July 16, at 12:01 AM, the province will launch into Step 3 of the Reopening Ontario plan.
Why is this fantastic news for Ontario operators? Stage 3 includes the return of indoor dining.
Ahead of Schedule, Again
As with Step 1 and Step 2, the province is entering Step 3 of the Reopening Ontario plan earlier than expected.
Ontario launched Step 1 three days ahead of schedule. Step 2 also came a few days early.
The province is entering Step 3 a whole five days early. These early launches are a testament to Ontario’s vaccination efforts.
Premier Doug Ford said during a press release that the targets triggering Step 3 were not just met but surpassed.
However, he did mention that the campaign to vaccinate Ontarians was in no way complete.
“While this is welcome news for everyone who wants a return to normal, we will not slow down our efforts to fully vaccinate everyone who wants to be and put this pandemic behind us once and for all,” Premier Ford said.
Step 3 Details
This phase of the plan is the least-restrictive of Reopening Ontario.
In Step 3, restaurants and bars can welcome indoor guests. The only capacity restriction is that people must be able to maintain distance of two metres between one another.
Restaurants and bars with dance floors are restricted to 25-percent capacity and a maximum occupancy of 250.
Outdoor dining capacity will focus on social distancing: there must be two metres between tables.
Face masks are a requirement for indoor gatherings and in situations where it’s not possible to socially distance properly.
Should the vaccine rate and other indicators continue to improve, it’s possible that Ontario will reopen fully as soon as 21 days after Step 3 begins. So far, Reopening Ontario steps have launched ahead of schedule, a great sign for reopening fully.
However, operators must take care to remain in compliance with federal, provincial and local regulations. Click here to review the Reopening Ontario details.
Of course, we’ll monitor the situation and see what Ontario officials say next.