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Restaurants Canada COVID-19 update and resources


March 17, 2020
By Canadian Pizza

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Restaurants Canada is continuing to monitor responses to the evolving public health situation across Canada. A letter from president and CEO Shanna Munro posted as a link from their dedicated COVID-19 web page shares the most relevant and up-to-date information for restaurant operations.

Munro’s letter lists the latest developments for the restaurant industry:

Toronto calling for temporary closure of bars and restaurants

As part of the City of Toronto’s ongoing response to COVID-19, Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa is strongly recommending all bars, dine-in restaurants, nightclubs, and theatres close as of 12:01 a.m., March 17, 2020.

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Businesses that fail to comply with the recommendation will receive orders under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Businesses that provide food takeout and delivery options are encouraged to keep those options available to continue to provide the public with food options while limiting social interactions between people.

Learn more: Read the official statement from the City of Toronto.

Calgary has declared state of local emergency

The City of Calgary has declared a state of local emergency in response to the growing coronavirus pandemic – an extremely rare move that was last done during catastrophic flooding in the summer of 2013.

The move means city-operated recreation centres, pools and arenas, some partner facilities like YMCAs, and Calgary Public Library branches have all been ordered to close until further notice.

The closures don’t apply to restaurants, bars and cafes, but they will be required to keep their capacity to either less than half their capacity under fire regulations, or less than 250 people.

Learn more: Read the official statement from the City of Calgary.

British Columbia recommending gatherings to be limited to 50 people

All levels of government in British Columbia are stepping up efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, following a recommendation from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry that residents should avoid get-togethers with more than 50 people.

In a COVID-19 press briefing this afternoon, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart explained that while bars and restaurants in the city will continue to remain open, patrons are encouraged to keep a social distance of at least one metre between one another.

Ontario to introduce job protection for workers impacted by COVID-19

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour is drafting legislation to introduce several measures aimed at protecting workers while slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The proposed legislation would, if passed, provide job protection for employees unable to work for the following reasons:

  • Being under medical investigation, supervision or treatment.
  • Acting in accordance with an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
  • Being in isolation or quarantine.
  • Acting in accordance with public health information or direction.
  • Being directed by an employer not to work.
  • Needing to provide care to a person for a reason related to COVID-19 such as a school or day-care closure.

The proposed legislation would also make it clear that an employee will not be required to provide a medical note if they take the leave. The measures would be retroactive to Jan. 25, 2020, the date that the first presumptive COVID-19 case was confirmed in Ontario.

Learn more: Read the official statement from the Ontario government.

Restaurants Canada is continuing to work with all levels of government to ensure the concerns of the foodservice community are being addressed as part of the ongoing response to this evolving public health situation.

“We encourage you to continue visiting our dedicated COVID-19 web page where we will continue to share information and resources relevant to our industry,” president and CEO Shanna Munro said in the letter. “If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.”