The Ontario government has amended an existing emergency order to allow some covered outdoor dining areas to open.
While restaurants and bar patios have been permitted to open as areas enter Stage 2 of the province's reopening plan, there has been some confusion about whether patios with a roof are permitted.
This was clarified in a press release issued by Ford's government today, which states that at least two full sides of the outdoor dining area must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked in anyway. Outdoor dining areas with a retractable roof must also be fully open.
Any restaurant or bar that does not meet these specific guidelines will have to remain closed or limited to takeout only for now.
The provincial government also announced this morning that they will be issuing another emergency order which will help municipalities to quickly pass temporary bylaws allowing for the creation of new patios and the expansion of existing one. The idea, Ford said, is to reduce the process time for passing bylaws from several weeks or more to a matter of days.
Municipalities will be responsible for ensuring health and safety compliance and proper physical distancing.