Wear a mask to the table and anytime you leave it, but feel free to dine uncovered

Health Unit's mask requirement adds a few steps to the indoor dining experience

A pair of recent announcements have left a few throughout Simcoe and Muskoka wondering what a dining experience will look like in the not-too-distant future.

On Monday, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) put in place a requirement that face coverings be worn in any indoor public spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as more and more amenities reopen.

The same day, the provincial government announced much of Ontario will enter into Stage 3 of recovery as of Friday. This allows, among other things, for indoor dining at restaurants to resume.

As restaurants qualify as indoor public spaces, it left some wondering how masks should be used within.

The SMDHU says while the maks rule does apply to these restaurants, some common sense is required when using them.

It is expected tables within restaurants will be set up to maintain the safe physical distance required to protect oneself from COVID-19, making for a safer dining experience without the mask.

The Health Unit indicates you should wear that mask or other face-covering from the entrance of the restaurant to your table. From there, the mask can be removed to dine (presuming you’re dining with those from within your social circle to begin with) but anytime you leave the table, your face should be covered. This includes going to the washroom, as you could encounter a line.

Check the SMDHU’s FAQ on wearing masks in indoor spaces for more guidance.