Stop serving customers except for takeout and delivery, Toronto health officials tell restaurants, bars

Toronto’s medical officer of health is urging all restaurants and bars to offer takeout and delivery only and all nightclubs, movie theatres and concert venues to close temporarily at midnight on Monday to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Eileen de Villa said providing takeout and delivery would continue to offer “food options” to local residents but would serve to limit interactions between people.

If businesses do not comply with her recommendations, she said they could be subject to orders under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

De Villa said the drastic steps are needed to limit the spread of the virus and its impact on the city. Social distancing is critical at this time, she added.

“I believe these unprecedented public health recommendations are necessary in order to protect the health of all Toronto residents,” de Villa said in a news release on Monday.

“Every opportunity to avoid interactions with others helps to prevent the spread of this disease. Every interaction avoided helps to flatten the curve. So, if you can, stay home, help out our city by reducing your interaction with others. Every little bit counts.”

Matthew Pegg, head of the city’s office of emergency management, said city employees who are not sick, who do not have any symptoms and who have not travelled in the last two weeks are being urged to continue to go to work. Pegg is also Toronto Fire Chief.

“The city is working flat out to protect the people of Toronto through this and we will not stop,” Pegg said.

“We are a strong and resilient city and we will get through this.”


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