Queen’s Park relaxing capacity restrictions for restaurants, bars in Grey, Red and Orange COVID zones

50% capacity limit in Simcoe-Muskoka to a maximum of 50 patrons

The Ontario government announced late Friday it is ‘cautiously adjusting’ dining capacity limits at restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments in the Grey-Lockdown, Red-Control (Simcoe-Muskoka) and Orange-Restrict levels of the COVID-19 Response Framework.

As of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 20, capacity limits will allow 50 per cent of indoor dining areas to be accessible to the public, to a maximum of 50 patrons in the Red Zone and 100 patrons in the Orange Zone, while adhering to physical distancing rules. Establishments in the Grey Zone will be able to offer outdoor dining only.

To ensure the continued safety of patrons and workers, public health and safety measures in indoor and outdoor settings the following measures will also be in place:

  • 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.

In addition, eight public health regions will be moving from their current level in the Framework to the following levels effective Monday, March 22, at 12:01 a.m.:

Red-Control

  • Brant County Health Unit;
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health; and
  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.

Orange-Restrict

  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

Yellow-Protect

  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health;
  • North Bay Parry Sound District;
  • Porcupine Health Unit; and
  • Timiskaming Health Unit.

“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. “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.”