Last updated: July 27, 2020 at 11:55 a.m.

Read Toronto Public Health’s Guidance for Drive-in and Drive-thru Events (also available below) and tips for the public attending drive-in and drive-through events.

COVID-19 Guidance for Drive-in & Drive-thru Events

All existing and new drive-in and drive-thru events/venues are permitted to open for a variety of purposes such as concerts, animal attractions, artistic events, and theatrical and other performances.

The following guidance is intended to help organizers and staff of drive-in and drive-thru events/venues to plan and prepare for reopening while reducing the spread of COVID-19 among staff and customers. For general information on reopening businesses and workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the 4-Step Public Health Planning Guide. More information about COVID-19 can be found in the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Fact Sheet.

Drive-in and drive-thru venues must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Operators must have procedures in place to ensure that people remain in their vehicles except where necessary for the purposes of using the washroom or in an emergency.
  • Limit the number of vehicles and how they are parked to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres/six feet.
  • Performers and staff must remain at least two metres/six feet apart from every other person except:
    • if necessary for performers to be closer to each other for the purposes of the performance;
    • where necessary to facilitate sale of tickets or concessions; or
    • where necessary for health and safety.
  • Concessions stands may be accessed by drive-thru or by delivery to vehicles only.
  • No materials may be exchanged between persons in attendance except:
    • materials exchanged between members of the same motor vehicle;
    • materials exchanged between persons who perform work for the drive-in event/venue; and
    • such materials as are necessary to facilitate the purchase of admission, food or beverages.
  • Washrooms must be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary environment.

Once the provincial government has authorized Toronto to move to Stage 3, in addition to those above, drive-in and drive-thru venues must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Operators must have procedures in place to ensure that people remain in their vehicles except where necessary for the purposes of using the washroom, in an emergency, or when purchasing tickets, food or beverages.
  • Concession stands may be accessed via drive-thru, delivery and/or in-person.
    • Those who access concessions in person must stand two metres/six feet apart while waiting to be served, and must immediately return to their vehicle after being served.

Note: Stage 3 gathering limits do not apply to drive-in and drive-thru event/venues.

Drive-in and drive-thru event/venue organizers are responsible for reducing the risk of infection among all those who participate in their activities (e.g. staff, volunteers, customers).

Recommendations for event organizers to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Implement health and safety protocols for staff

  • Review the COVID-19 Guidance for Employers, Workplaces and Businesses to plan and implement protocols to keep staff safe.
  • Actively screen staff before each work shift, and prior to participating the event. The questions can be completed on paper, online or by asking staff directly.
  • Implement attendance policies for staff, including maintaining a list of the names, contact information, and attendance records of all staff.
  • Train staff on all new policies and protocols related to COVID-19 practices, including physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette.

Encourage patron health screening

  • Consider pre-gathering/event communications to attendees to share information on protocols and expected behaviours. Discourage those who are ill from attending the event/gathering.
  • Use posters to encourage passive screening before entering the venue. Direct anyone who answers YES to any of the screening questions to go home and self-isolate, and contact Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 or go to an assessment centre to get tested.

Implement measures to maintain physical distancing

Physical distancing means keeping a distance of two metres/six feet from others. Plan and modify the layout of the event/venue to ensure enough space is provided for vehicles, customers and staff to maintain physical distancing.

  • Customers must attend the event in a motor vehicle designed to be closed to the elements (i.e. not a motorcycle), and remain in the vehicle except to use the washroom or in an emergency.
  • Calculate the maximum number of cars permitted to ensure at least two metres/six feet between them. Limit the number of cars permitted into the venue based on this calculation.
  • Direct customers where to park to ensure they are separated by a minimum of two metres/six feet.
    • When all parking spaces are filled, allow one vehicle in for every one that leaves.
  • Ensure people remain in their vehicles except for using the washroom, in an emergency, or, once permitted for purchasing food and beverages.
  • Monitor and manage customer lines:
    • Place visual markers/cues spaced two metres/six feet apart (e.g. tape on the floor/ground, pylons, signs) to encourage physical distancing and guide customers waiting in line.
    • Assign staff to monitor the line and to make public announcements reminding customers to keep two metres/six feet apart.
    • Design a directional flow that encourages one-way movement with prominent signage and/or ground/floor markings.
  • Post physical distancing signs in highly visible areas.

Ticket and concession sales

  • Encourage online and/or telephone service that allows customers to purchase tickets in advance.
  • Encourage drive-thru and/or delivery services for food and beverage purchases to reduce line-ups.
  • Encourage electronic payment by debit or credit card, and to tap instead of using the PIN pad.
  • Use a contact-less transaction process to exchange concessions and/or scan tickets.
  • Equip physical barriers at the point of sale (e.g. plexiglass).

Practice proper use of cloth and non-medical face masks

  • The use of non-medical masks or face coverings is required in all indoor public spaces (e.g., washrooms), as per a new City of Toronto bylaw. Operators must develop a policy and protocols on the wearing of masks. More information is available here.
  • Non-medical/cloth masks are strongly recommended when physical distancing cannot be maintained in outdoor settings.
  • Train staff on the proper use of masks, including how to safely put on and take off a mask.
  • Masks do not replace the need for physical distancing, hand washing, and staying home when sick.

Encourage and practice proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

  • Educate employees on proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette and post signs in highly visible locations for staff and customers:
    • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration), provided hands are not visibly soiled.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
  • Remind employees to avoid touching their face, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Provide hand sanitizer stations (70-90% alcohol concentration) throughout the venue for staff and customer use.
  • Washrooms must be provided with hand sinks that have running water, soap and paper towel for staff and customers. Refer to permit agreements for washroom facility requirements (e.g. number of washrooms required).
  • Monitor and refill hand hygiene supplies such as hand sanitizer, soap and paper towels in public areas and washroom facilities.

Enhance environmental cleaning and disinfection

  • Avoid opportunities for the virus to spread through touch on surfaces and objects.
  • Assign staff to complete environmental cleaning and disinfection duties.
  • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects in staff and customer areas (e.g. doorknobs, tabletops) at least twice a day and when visibly dirty.
  • Ensure washrooms and hand sinks are cleaned and disinfected at least twice per day, or as frequently as necessary to maintain a sanitary environment.
  • Provide waste receptacles lined with a plastic bag, and empty as often as necessary.

Increase communication with customers

  • Provide information to customers about event/venue operations (e.g. public health measures, available amenities) through different platforms (e.g. event webpage, email, social media).
  • Inform customers that they are to remain in their vehicle, unless otherwise necessary (i.e. using the washroom, ticket or concession purchases or in an emergency).
  • Communicate to staff and customers to refrain from socializing or congregating when returning to their vehicles in order to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
  • Discourage the idling of engines.
  • Post signs at the entrance indicating the conditions for entry, and not to attend the event if sick.
  • Post educational materials to encourage healthy behaviours that reduce the spread of COVID-19:

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