With Coucillor Gary Crawford
By Gary Crawford
Now that the City has entered stage 3 of the province’s recovery plan, we have seen a new wave of resumed services and activities. The resumption of many of these services have occurred on different schedules and I realize that it can sometimes be confusing to keep up with these various timelines. As such, I’d like to take this opportunity to provide some clarification in regard to which services have resumed and which services have yet to resume.
Many businesses have reopened in accordance with specific conditions and public health measures. Indoor dine-in service is now permitted at restaurants and bars with several precautionary measures in place, such as the separation of tables by at least two metres, the prohibition of dancing, singing or musical performances except by contracted performers and the requirement that patrons remain seated at all times except when entering/exiting, using the washroom, placing/picking up an order or paying for an order. Restaurants and bars are also required to maintain customer logs for contact tracing purposes.
Personal grooming settings have also been permitted to perform services tending to the face (i.e. facials, beard trims, eyebrow rooming, eyelash extensions, etc.). However, patrons are still required to wear a mask or face covering, unless the designated service pertains specifically to the chin, nose, or mouth.
Performing arts shows and movie theatres are now permitted to reopen, under the provision that there be no more than 50 people in attendance at an indoor venue and no more than 100 people in attendance at an outdoor venue. Furthermore, there is no attendance limit on drive-in cinemas. Additional recreational attractions, such as museums, zoos, bowling alleys and pool halls have also been permitted to reopen.
Among those businesses which have not been permitted to reopen are nightclubs (except when conducting business in the same manner as a restaurant or bar), amusement parks and water parks, buffet-style food services, private karaoke rooms, saunas, steam rooms, bath houses, oxygen bars and table games at casinos and gaming establishments.
As for public gatherings, I imagine it has been difficult for many of you to forgo the get-togethers and events that typically go along with summer, especially given the beautiful weather we’ve had this year. However, with the latest phase, the province has increased the limit for public gatherings. Under these revised rules, indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people are now permitted, while maintaining a physical distance of 2 metres from anyone outside of one’s household or 10 person social circle.
Over 800 playgrounds and play structures have reopened across the City and staff have updated signage to outline the most up to date conduct guidelines for the current stage. The guidelines include proper hand hygiene for children before and after playground use, physical distancing, a mask or face covering for children over the age of two if physical distancing is not possible, and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
City run washrooms, showers and drinking water facilities have also reopened. Please be sure to practice proper hygiene when using these facilities.
As of mid-August, the Toronto Public Library (TPL) has started to resume in-branch services on a gradual basis and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. This includes library card registration services and renewed access to Wi-Fi and other onsite technological services. For the latest information on the TPL’s reopening strategy, please visit the following link: https://toronto publiclibrary.typepad.com/programming/our-reopening-plan.html
On a bit of a side note, the City has also recently introduced an online reservation option for its indoor drop-in lane swim program as well as weight rooms and fitness centres. This new option allows patrons to easily book an indoor lane swim at any of the City’s 29 indoor pool locations or a gym session at select City weight rooms and fitness centres.
As we continue to navigate this challenge, please remember to abide by the most up to date health guidelines. We have made a great deal of progress and must abide by the advice of our medical experts to continue on this path.
As always if you have any concerns or comments, please feel free to contact my office. We are always happy to do our best to assist you.