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Reopening Ontario: Toronto’s Additional Measures for Stage 3


As Toronto enters Stage 3 of reopening, the city will follow some safety measures besides those required under the provincial law. The Toronto City Council approved these extra rules proposed by Toronto Public Health on July 29, 2020.

Through these measures, Toronto seeks to better prepare for a potential second wave of COVID-19. These rules primarily apply to food and drink establishments, condominiums and apartment buildings.

Stage 3 allows for reopening of most businesses and services. This includes dine-in services at restaurants, gyms, theatres, playgrounds, etc.

Social gathering limits will increase in Stage 3. But the limit of a social circle is still capped at 10 people. Indoor gatherings will be able to allow up to 50 people. The limit for outdoor gatherings has been set at a maximum of 100 people. All gatherings must follow physical distancing measures. All businesses reopening in Stage 3 must follow the guidelines issued for their respective sector.

Food and drink establishments

Besides the Stage 3 rules already laid down for restaurants and bars, those operating in Toronto must also:

  • Screen each employee for symptoms of COVID-19 before every shift
  • Limit customers to a number that can be seated while maintaining physical distancing. The indoor events must not host more than a 100 people.
  • Seat not more than 10 people at each table in an indoor or outdoor space
  • Refuse entry to customers who display symptoms of COVID-19
  • Ensure customers are physically distancing while seated or standing in the waiting area
  • Make sure all customers stay seated at all times while on the premises. They can move around only to enter or exit the premises, use the washroom or pay the bill.
  • Maintain customers logs that Toronto Public Health may use, if needed, for contact tracing. The log must record the date, time, name and contact information for each reservation. This information will be stored securely for 30 days before it is destroyed. The establishment must notify the public — through signage or forms — about the collection of this information.

These measures will come into force through temporary provisions under Chapter 545 (Licensing) of the Toronto Municipal Code. Food and drink establishments include restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs with eat-in or take-out food. They also apply to nightclubs, adult entertainment clubs, bowling alleys and billiard halls.

From July 7, 2020, Toronto made it mandatory to wear a face mask or face covering in indoor public spaces. This also includes restaurants and bars. But customers are allowed to temporarily remove the face mask or face covering when having a meal or drink.

Condominiums and apartment buildings

Under a new temporary bylaw, owners or operators of condominiums and apartment buildings will have to ensure face masks or face coverings are worn by people in indoor common spaces, such as lobbies, elevators and laundry rooms. They must also post appropriate signage informing residents and visitors about this new policy. Owners will also need to train their employees on the provisions of  this bylaw. This bylaw will come into effect from August 5, 2020.

As in case of Toronto’s mandatory mask or face covering bylaw, this one, too, makes exemptions. These include individuals unable to wear face masks due to medical reasons and children under the age of two.

Need help reopening your business under Stage 3 restrictions?

For advice on health and safety policies during the pandemic, call an expert today: 1 (833) 247-3652.