Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa is strongly recommending all bars, dine-in restaurants, nightclubs, and theatres close, as part of the City of Toronto’s response to COVID-19, in hopes of further preventing the spread of the virus, effective 12:01 a.m. on March 17, 2020.
While businesses that provide food takeout and delivery options are being encouraged to keep those options available, it will enable them to continue providing food options to the public while limiting social interactions.
Many restaurants, bars, nightclubs and theatres have already closed their doors to the public in response to the pandemic and Dr. de Villa is encouraging the rest of the industry to follow their example.
Dr. de Villa issued a warning that if businesses fail to comply with the recommendation, she will issue orders to individual establishments under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
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This recommendation is for the sake of protecting the health and safety of all Toronto residents and further encourage social distancing to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 and avoid those who may be carrying the virus.
Toronto Public Health continues to encourage all residents to stay home if possible and reduce interactions with others.
Residents who have travelled outside of Canada are strongly encouraged by Toronto Public Health to self-isolate for 14 days.
“I believe these unprecedented public health recommendations are necessary in order to protect the health of all Toronto residents,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health.
“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.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory said, “I support Dr. de Villa’s strong recommendation for restaurants, bars, nightclubs and theatres to close their in-house options and focus on delivery and takeout services.”
“We are following the advice of our public health professionals to make sure we are doing everything possible to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and protect our residents and our city. I encourage all Toronto residents to practice social distancing as much as possible to protect their health and the health of their loved ones and neighbours.”