Restaurants in Toronto and Peel can serve guests on their patios starting Saturday even though the regions remain in Grey-Lockdown.
Health officials decided to loosen the rules Friday as restaurants face their fifth month of only being able to serve takeout.
“I want to thank the Province for listening to our public health officials and approving modifications to the Grey Zone starting with outdoor dining this weekend. We are working to move ahead cautiously, based on the public health advice, while still keeping our guard up and doing everything we can to get people vaccinated,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement.
Indoor dining is still prohibited in Toronto and Peel, but outdoor dining will be allowed starting at 12:01 am on Saturday, March 20 with certain public health rules in place.
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Guests need to be from the same household to sit at the same table; however, there will be exceptions for people who live alone and those who need to visit with a caregiver.
Restaurants will also need to post signs stating their capacity limit, and follow physical distancing protocol.
“We have entered the third wave of the pandemic and the rates of variants of concern continue to rise so it is important that people remain cautious and vigilant in order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and protect themselves and their communities,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams said in a release.
The province also relaxed indoor dining rules for areas coloured red and orange.