New measures come into effect today for apartments and condominiums and food and drink establishments to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Beginning today, new measures come into effect that require masks or face coverings to be worn in common areas in apartments and condominiums and additional requirements for food and drink establishments to protect the health and safety of our communities by helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Last week, Toronto City Council voted in favour of a new temporary bylaw that requires masks or face coverings to be worn in common areas in apartments and condominiums and new requirements to be implemented for bars and restaurants through temporary provisions under Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 545, Licensing.

Under the new bylaw for apartments and condos, building owners or operators are required to have a policy to ensure masks or face coverings are worn by individuals in enclosed common spaces, such as lobbies, elevators and laundry rooms, and post corresponding signage.

Like the City’s mask or face covering bylaw for indoor public spaces, this bylaw includes exemptions for individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering for medical reasons, children under two years old, and other reasonable accommodations.

A growing body of scientific evidence suggests the use of masks and face coverings is an inexpensive, acceptable and non-invasive measure to help control the spread of the virus. COVID-19 is spread through contact with the respiratory droplets produced by someone who is infected when they cough, sneeze, or even when they laugh or speak, including by individuals who may not have symptoms – known as being asymptomatic. Evidence suggests wearing a mask reduces the likelihood of droplets infecting those around an individual.

In food and drink establishments, new requirements to protect the health and safety of restaurant customers have come into effect that include:

  • Ensuring all customers remain seated at all times except when entering or exiting, using the washroom, or paying
  • Separating tables by at least two metres
  • Maintaining customer logs that include the name(s) and contact information for each party
  • Keeping customer logs for 30 days, providing logs to Toronto Public Health upon request for contact tracing purposes, and securely discarding after 30 days
  • Posting signage at all entrances to the premises to identify the necessity of keeping customer logs for contact tracing purposes
  • Establishing staff screening protocols
  • Limiting indoor capacity in restaurants and bars to a maximum of 100 people indoors (provided physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Limiting the number of customers who may be seated at the same table, to a maximum of 10 customers per table
Many restaurants and bars have been following these new measures since Stage 3 began last Friday and the City thanks them for their ongoing cooperation.

The new City requirements have been implemented through temporary provisions under the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 545, Licensing.

The City’s coordinated enforcement team remains focused on providing education about these new measures and the physical distancing bylaw, face mask bylaw, liquor laws, provincial orders and other relevant bylaws as the City responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toronto Public Health has created guidance and signage to help raise awareness of these new measures.

Guidance for commercial and residential buildings: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-reopening-recovery-rebuild/covid-19-reopening-guidelines-for-businesses-organizations/covid-19-guidance-commercial-or-residential-buildings/.

Signage for building operators to display in common areas: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-how-you-can-help/covid-19-spread-the-word/?accordion=face-masks-coverings.

Guidance and signage for food and drink establishments: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-reopening-recovery-rebuild/covid-19-reopening-guidelines-for-businesses-organizations/covid-19-guidance-food-premises/

As Toronto entered Stage 3 of the Province of Ontario’s reopening plan last week, residents can learn about what to expect and what is required at www.toronto.ca/ReopenTO.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

Quotes:

"We have taken these steps, based on public health advice, to keep our communities safe. I know the vast majority of Toronto residents are committed to following these rules and all the public health advice to ensure we stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We’ve come a long way in our fight against this virus and these are important actions to help keep Toronto on track as we reopen and get back to enjoying our vibrant city.” - Mayor John Tory

“I'm pleased to see these new measures to protect our city's health by reducing opportunity for COVID-19 spread. We will continue to live with this virus for some time and still need to keep washing our hands, watching our distance and wearing our masks. These actions, along with our other public health measures have helped us to safely reopen parts of our city so we can have safer social connections with our friends and loved ones, which we all need for well-being.”

- Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health

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