New restaurant reopening guidelines have strict stipulations for the province's outdoor patios and dining areas
No more singing and dancing on patios, Ontario has declared.
Though we may have been tempted to make use of all that extra social-distancing elbow room with a good dance party, provincial health officials have banned musical merriment on patios in Stage 2 reopening guidelines.
New regulations state that restaurants can only reopen if they serve takeout, or if they have an outdoor space configured for social distancing. “No dancing or singing may be permitted in the outdoor dining areas,” the document adds.
Though it sounds distinctly town-from-Footloose-esque, the new rule tracks with other guidelines recently issued by public health authorities.
Toronto’s restaurant reopening guidelines included a ban on live music and a limit on the volume of recorded music. “Loud music causes diners to lean towards each other and raise their voices or shout, thus increasing the risk of transmitting the virus,” city staff wrote.
And singing, with its vigorous expulsion of air (and, therefore, respiratory droplets) has been said to expedite the spread of COVID-19. (One particularly tragic case is that of a choir in Washington state, who held a practice in early March, after which 87 per cent of those present tested positive for COVID-19 and two members died.)
The rules are in effect for the 24 out of 34 regions in Ontario where bars and restaurants have been allowed to reopen Toronto, meanwhile, is still waiting for the green light.