Toronto restaurants urged to temporarily close due to coronavirus

Health officials in Toronto recommend closure of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and theaters to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Elad Benari ,


Health officials in the City of Toronto on Monday recommended that dining areas of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and theaters temporarily close starting at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday to prevent further community spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Today, I recommend that bars and restaurants stop in-person and dine-in service and move exclusively to takeout and delivery service,” Toronto’s medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, said in an announcement, according to Global News.

“I am also strongly recommending that all nightclubs, movie theatres and concert venues close as soon as possible,” she added.

De Villa warned that businesses who fail to comply with the recommendation may be issued orders under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

She stressed she does not take these decisions lightly and that it is an unprecedented step towards protecting the health and safety of all Toronto residents by limiting social interactions.

There are at least three cases of coronavirus in Toronto where links could not be found, said de Villa, which suggests that those patients possibly contracted COVID-19 through community spread.

“We do know that effective social distancing is what makes a difference. We have seen this in other jurisdictions and we have every reason to believe that should be effective here as well,” she said.

“This is a critical time to flatten the growth curve of COVID-19 in our community and Toronto Public Health, along with the City of Toronto, is committed to doing everything possible based on the expert advice of public health professionals to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The announcement related to Toronto came after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would close its borders to non-citizens in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the new rules, non-citizens will no longer be allowed to enter Canada. The restrictions will not apply to American citizens, diplomats, or the immediate family of Canadian citizens.