Province eases restaurant rules in grey zones

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Lambton County restaurants will be able to welcome back patrons even during lockdown, starting tomorrow.

The province has just released its weekly Reopening Framework Guidelines. In it, officials say restaurants in lockdown areas – like Lambton – will be able to serve patrons outdoors with certain restrictions. Until now, only takeout service has been an option for restaurants to continue business during lockdown.

Some restrictions include

  • Limiting tables for indoor dining to members of the same household with exemptions for patrons who live alone and caregivers; 
  • Limiting tables for outdoor dining in Grey-Lockdown to members of the same household with exemptions for patrons who live alone and caregivers; and 
  • A sign posted by the establishment in a location visible to the public that states the maximum capacity (number of patrons) they are permitted to operate under.

Restaurants in the red zones of the province will now be able to have up to 50 per cent capacity or 50 people in their buildings.

The moves come as the province’s own medical experts and the Ontario Hospital Association say the number of cases of COVID-19 are on the rise and the province is heading into a third wave of illness.

“While some regions are proceeding to levels with less restrictive measures and adjustments are being made to dining capacity, everyone must continue to adhere to all public health and workplace safety measures,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health in a news release. “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.”