This past week, I enjoyed dinner with my family at Cafe Landwer on Avenue Road. Supporting our local restaurants and other main street businesses are important for a strong and responsible economic recovery.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health has advised that given the low burden of COVID-19 in Ontario, it is safe for restaurants and bars to open provided they follow appropriate health and precautions, including outdoor dining only while we remain in Stage 2, and a gradual return to indoor dining once we enter Stage 3.
These precautions include requiring all patrons to be seated at all times while eating or drinking, at appropriately distanced tables with limited capacity. Buffet-style food services, dancing in restaurants and bars, and private karaoke rooms will continue to be restricted in Stage 3. Nightclubs are prohibited from reopening, except for the purpose of serving food or drinks under the same conditions applicable to restaurants and bars.
On this, and every other decision, we have followed the advice and expertise of the Chief Medical Officer and other health experts on the Public Health Measures table, and we will continue to do so going forward.
I know there are many questions about what the school year will look like in September. As you may recall, in June the Ministry of Education asked school boards to prepare for three different circumstances for the 2020-21 school year:
an in-person school day routine with enhanced public health protocols;
a modified (or hybrid) school day routine based on smaller class sizes, cohorting and alternative day or week delivery; and
at-home learning with ongoing enhanced remote delivery
Given the uncertainty with respect to the pandemic, planning for all three scenarios is the prudent approach to take, but it is my hope that we will be able to reopen schools in September for in-person learning. You can view our approach here, and know we will continue to work with school boards throughout the summer to finalize plans for the upcoming year.