The Government of Ontario has announced further measures to limit future COVID-19 infections, and it will affect several businesses province-wide.
As of September 26 at 12:01 am, an amended order applied province-wide will see additional measures and restrictions to restaurants, bars, and other food establishments, including nightclubs, by prohibiting the sale of alcohol after 11 pm, according to the provincial government.
Drinking alcohol at these establishments after 12 am is prohibited until 9 am. This regulation also falls on employees and requires all establishments to close by midnight and stay closed until 5 am.
This rule does not apply to takeout or delivery orders.
In an effort to reduce the risk of transmission and possible future outbreaks, strip clubs across the province will also close.
“Last week our government took immediate action to respond to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases by setting new limits for certain social gatherings and organized public events across Ontario. As the number of cases have continued to rise, it is evident that despite the tremendous efforts of Ontarians, further action is required to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott.
“On the advice of Ontario’s public health officials, we are moving forward with these measures to help keep Ontarians safe by limiting the potential for exposure in locations where the current risk of transmission is higher, and to avoid future lockdowns. Protecting the health and wellbeing of Ontarians will always remain our top priority.”
Businesses will also need to comply with any advice, recommendations, and instructions that are issued by the office of the chief medical officer of health on screening for COVID-19, which also includes screening those who wish to enter their premises.
“I welcome the news from the Ontario government today that new restrictions will be placed on bars, restaurants, and other food and drink establishments (such as nightclubs), including reduced operating hours,” said Toronto Board of Health Chair Joe Cressy.
“By prohibiting the sale of alcohol after 11 pm, and requiring establishments to close by midnight, these measures will help reduce late-night socializing and close contact that can facilitate virus transmission.”
Every option is on the table to ensure the safety of community members, especially those at risk, according to Cressy.
“Right now, we have a window of opportunity to turn this trend around. If we put in place real measures to keep people safe, and stay committed to each doing our part, we can still prevent a staggering second wave in our city.”
The Government of Ontario is reporting 409 new COVID-19 cases on Friday morning, making this the sixth time in eight days that numbers have been over 400.
The province is reporting 204 cases from Toronto, 66 from Peel, and 40 from Ottawa.