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Toronto's top doctor to recommend further bar, restaurant restrictions

Last Updated Sep 28, 2020 at 4:55 pm EDT

Toronto’s top doctor will try to persuade city council to add further restrictions to bars and restaurants amid a continued surge of COVID-19 cases in the region.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, said Monday that she will introduce the following recommendations at Wednesday’s city council meeting.

    • Limit the number of people in bars/restaurants from 100 to 75
    • Collect contact information from all patrons
    • Reduce the number of people at a table from 10 to 6
    • Lower background music to conversational levels
    • Extend existing COVID-19 bylaws until the council’s first meeting of 2021

 

“There is an immediate and rising risk in Toronto of continued and significant COVID-19 resurgence,” de Villa stressed.”This is not the time to panic, it is the time to act.”

De villa said Toronto recorded 381 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, bringing Toronto’s total case count to 19,033.

De villa said her recommendations would build on provincial actions introduced on Friday, when Premier Doug Ford announced that bars and restaurants would be required to close at midnight, except for takeout and delivery.

Establishments would also have to stop serving alcohol by 11 p.m. and strip clubs have been ordered closed.

Mayor John Tory said he fully supports de Villa’s recommendations and also suggested the council work with the province to introduce mandatory mask policies in workplaces where social distancing is not possible.

Tory also said he would seek to extend current mask rules by six months.