Last updated: December 1, 2021 at 12:05 p.m.

The information on this page provides you with what you need to know to re-open your restaurant, or other food premises, after being closed.

On January 4, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Letter of Instruction to all employers in the City of Toronto permitted to be open under the Reopening Ontario Act. Employers permitted to be open are required to take the additional measures set out in this Letter to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Also read Toronto Public Health’s guidance for entertainment venues.

The following recommendations are intended to help organizers, staff and vendors participating in farmers’ and fresh food markets reduce the spread of COVID-19. These markets primarily sell local goods, fresh fruits, vegetables and foods that do not require onsite food preparation.

Owners, operators and vendors are responsible for ensuring that their market is in compliance with these public health guidelines, all emergency orders made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 and O. Reg. 493/17: Food Premises.  As every market will be different, it is the responsibility of owners/operators and vendors to review their own policies, procedures, and site-specific operations, while ensuring that the appropriate infection prevention and control measures are implemented and maintained. More information about COVID-19 can be found in the COVID-19 Fact Sheet.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals and businesses with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

Measures for All Workplaces, Businesses & Organizations

Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and customers safe. Operators must also consider the following:

  • Health screening for staff and customers
    • Actively screen every person that works at the business or organization before they enter the premises of the business or organization. Questions can be completed online, on paper, or asked directly. See sample Staff Screening Questionnaire.
    • Post signs at all entrances to the premises in a conspicuous location visible to the public to inform individuals on how to self-screen themselves for COVID-19 prior to entering the premises.
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
    • Provide hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) by entrances and throughout the market for staff and customers use.
    • Encourage everyone to use hand sanitizer when they enter.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Implement appropriate infection prevention and control measures in all areas accessible to the public, including washrooms, check-out counters, door handles, and other high-touch surfaces.
  • Re-usable items that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected should not be provided for customer use (e.g. cloth bags).
  • Managing COVID-19 in the workplace
    • In the event that a case of COVID-19 is reported in a staff member or customer, it is not necessary for the vendor/market to discard any food that they may have been in contact with.

Safety Plan

  • Operators must prepare a safety plan, which:
  • Describes measures and procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business, place, facility or establishment to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Includes measures for screening, physical distancing, masks or face coverings, cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects, the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE), and preventing and controlling crowds.
  • Is in writing and made available to any person for review, upon request.
  • Is posted in a visible place to come to the attention of those working or attending the location.
  • Use the COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist to develop your safety plan.

Use of Masks and Face Coverings

  • The use of non-medical masks or face coverings is required in all indoor public spaces, as per a City of Toronto bylaw and Reg. 364/20.
  • City of Toronto bylaw requires that businesses with indoor spaces that are open to the public must develop a policy on the wearing of masks. Use the Mask By-law Checklist and Sample Policy.
  • Masks are strongly recommended when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors.

Limit Capacity

  • Capacity must be limited so that members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the establishment.
  • The person responsible for the establishment should post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the establishment is permitted to operate.

Control and Monitor Entry

  • Establish protocols to control and monitor entry of patrons into the market, and ensure capacity limits are adhered to. Some examples include:
    • Designating a single entry and exit point.
    • Closing all other access points to the market using existing barriers/structures.
    • Positioning staff at the entrance to control customer entry and monitor the number of customers entering and leaving.
    • If the maximum number of customers is reached, allow one person in for every person that leaves.

Tents, Canopies, Retractable Roofs

  • If an area at the market is covered by a roof, canopy, tent, awning or other element, at least two full sides of the entire area must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable physical barriers.
  • If an area at the market is equipped with a retractable roof and the roof is retracted, at least one full side of the area must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable physical barriers.

Implement Measures to Maintain Physical Distancing

  • Plan and modify the layout of the market to ensure enough space is provided for customers, vendors and market staff to maintain at least two metres physical distancing.
  • Design a shopping flow that encourages one-way movement with prominent signage and/or floor markings.
  • Arrange and modify vendors booths to maintain physical distancing and reduce contact:
    • Increase spacing between vendors booths (e.g. keep an empty area between each booth).
  • Limit the number of employees working within the booth at any one time:
    • Employees should maintain physical distancing from each other and customers, where possible.
    • Assign each employee a specific workstation and task to reduce overlap.
  • Remind customers not to congregate near the booth once they have completed their purchase.
  • Post physical distancing signs in highly visible areas.
  • Stagger load in and load out times, and designate locations for vendor areas prior to market opening.

Monitor and Manage Customer Lines

  • Operators must ensure that customers lining up or congregating outside their establishment:
    • Maintain at least two metres from other groups of persons, and
    • Wear a mask or face covering indoors, unless entitled to an exemption. Masks are recommended for customers waiting in lines outdoors.
    • Place visual markers/cues spaced at least two metres apart (e.g. tape on the floor, pylons, signs) to encourage physical distancing and guide customers waiting in line.
    • Assign staff to monitor lines and to make public announcements reminding customers to keep two metres apart and wear a mask or face covering.

Reduce Contact during Purchases

  • Offer online and/or telephone ordering services that allow customers to order items in advance.
    • Establish and clearly identify pick-up points for advance orders (e.g. drive-through/pedestrian pick-up).
  • Install physical barriers at the point of sale (e.g. plexiglass).
  • Encourage electronic payment by debit or credit card, and to tap instead of using the PIN pad, and assign one employee to process all transactions.
  • Leave the customers purchases on the counter or set-up a side table for the customer to pick it up while maintaining at least a two metre distance from employees.

Implement Measures to Protect Food from Contamination

  • Prepackage foods offered for sale to reduce handling and direct contact.
  • Keep food out of the customer’s reach to discourage handling.
  • It is recommended that food sampling be served in a prepackaged format, for take-home consumption.
  • Do not handle reusable containers/bags supplied by the customer.
  • Encourage customers to take their purchased foods home and wash them thoroughly with water before eating.

Practice Proper Glove Use

  • Glove use is not mandatory for food vendors. Gloves are not a substitute for proper hand hygiene.
  • If vendors/employees use gloves they should be changed every hour, or more often as necessary.
  • Hands should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds before putting on and after taking off gloves.
  • Change gloves when changing tasks, after touching your face, or coming in contact with an item that may have germs.
  • When gloves are removed, new gloves must be used each time.

Food and Beverage Preparation and Consumption

  • Indoor and outdoor dining is permitted. Operators should review Guidance for Food Premises for more information.
  • It is strongly recommended that vendors engaged in onsite food/beverage preparation in temporary establishments (e.g. tents/booths) provide a handwashing station for food handlers which is adequately supplied with hot and cold running water, an enclosed waste collection tank, liquid soap in a dispenser and paper towels.
  • Discourage customers from consuming food or drink while they are walking around/through the market area.

Live Entertainment

  • Performers must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any spectators or be separated from any spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.

Increase Public Awareness

  • Communicate COVID-19 measures and market expectations with all vendors prior to attending the market.
  • Provide information to customers about market operations (e.g. public health measures, advance order options, curbside pickup).
  • Encourage staff, vendors and customers to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.
  • Post signs at the entrance instructing staff, vendors and customers not to attend the market if they are sick.
  • Post educational materials to encourage healthy behaviours that reduce the spread of COVID-19:

Other Resources


Download this information as a PDF.

Resource:

Read Toronto Public Health’s Guidance for Food Banks and Donation Centres.

The following guidance should be used by owners and operators of restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Owners and operators are responsible for ensuring that their food premises is in compliance with all applicable legislative requirements under provincial and municipal law, including all orders made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020. As every food premises will be different, it is the responsibility of owners/operators to review their own policies, procedures, and site-specific operations, while ensuring that the appropriate infection prevention and control measures are implemented and maintained. As well, food premises must comply at all times with Ontario Regulation 493/17: Food Premises made under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist businesses and organizations with information related to legal requirements pursuant to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health’s (TPH’s) guidance and recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While efforts are made to ensure these documents provide accurate and timely guidance, for the most up-to-date requirements, owners and operators are encouraged to consult the applicable provincial regulations made under the Reopening Ontario Act. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional. The owner of a business or organization is required to be aware of and comply with all applicable legal requirements. Zoning by-laws and other City by-laws may also provide other applicable restrictions that must also be complied with.

Roadmap to Reopen: Step 3

Ontario Regulation 364/20, sets out requirements for businesses and organizations that are permitted to open. These requirements have been summarized below as they apply to restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments where dance facilities are not provided:

Compliance with Applicable Laws

  • The person responsible for the business or organization must comply with all applicable laws, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and regulations made under it.

Public Health Officials

  • The person responsible for the business or organization must follow the advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials, including on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting.

Health Screening

  • Post signs at all entrances to the premises of the business or organization in a conspicuous location visible to the public to inform individuals on how to self-screen themselves for COVID-19 prior to entering the premises.
  • Actively screen every person who works at the business or organization and dine-in patrons* before they enter the premises of the business or organization.
    • The establishment must actively screen the workers and patrons in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

*Active screening is not required where dine-in patrons order or select their food or drink at a counter, food bar or cafeteria line and pay before receiving their order.Sample TPH Resources:

Masks and Face Coverings

  • The person responsible for a business or organization must ensure that all persons wear a mask or face covering that covers their mouth, nose and chin during any period when they are in an indoor area of the premises, or in a vehicle that is operating as part of the business or organization.
    • Some exceptions apply, including children under the age of two, and people with medical conditions that make wearing a mask difficult.
    • Proof of an exemption is not required.
  • The person responsible for a business or organization must ensure that every person who performs work for the business or organization and whose mask is temporarily removed to consume food or drink is separated from other persons by at least 2 metres distance or by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.

Other Requirements:

  • Toronto Bylaw 541-2020 also requires operators to:
    • Create a mask policy for their establishment.
    • Communicate this policy to employees and patrons.
    • Post signs at all entrances to the premises in high visibility areas containing the required text.
    • Train employees on the policy, including exemptions.
    • Train employees on how to communicate with, and accommodate people who may be exempt.

Sample TPH Resources:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • A person shall wear appropriate PPE that provides protection of their eyes, nose and mouth if, in the course of providing services, the person:
    • is required to come within two metres of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering during any period when that person is in an indoor area; and
    • is not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier from a person described above.

Proof of Vaccination

  • The person responsible for a business or organization must require each patron who enters an area of the premises described below to provide, at the point of entry, proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19:
    • the indoor areas of restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments where dance facilities are not provided, but not with respect to takeout and delivery service.
  • The above requirements do not apply where a patron is entering an indoor area solely:
    • to use a washroom;
    • to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route;
    • to make a retail purchase;
    • while placing or picking up an order;
    • while paying for an order; or
    • as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  • A business or an organization shall not retain any information provided pursuant to this section.

Additional Resources:

Capacity Limits

  • Limit the number of people in the indoor setting of the business or organization where takeout or delivery service is provided so that members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person.

Entrances and Managing Lines

  • Ensure that patrons are not permitted to line up or congregate:
    • outside the business or place, or at an outdoor attraction or feature within the business or place, unless they are maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons.
    • inside an indoor part of the business or place unless they are:
      • maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons; and
      • wearing a mask or face covering, unless entitled to an exemption.

Safety Plan

  • Prepare a safety plan, which:
    • describes measures and procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business to reduce the spread of COVID-19;
    • includes measures for screening, physical distancing, masks or face coverings, cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects, the wearing of PPE, and preventing and controlling crowding.
    • includes information on how the business, place or event will prevent gatherings and crowds, manage requirements for mask wearing and physical distancing where patrons are permitted to line up or congregate (as noted above), and mitigate the risk of any interactive activities, exhibits or games.
    • is in writing and made available to any person for review, upon request; and
    • is posted in a conspicuous place where it is likely to come to the attention of those working or attending the location.

Sample TPH Resources:

Tents, Canopies, Retractable Roofs, etc.

  • If an outdoor area of the business or place is covered by a roof, canopy, tent, awning or other element, at least two full sides of the entire outdoor area must be open to the outdoors, and must not be substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable physical barriers.
  • If an outdoor area at the establishment is equipped with a retractable roof and the roof is retracted, at least one full side of the outdoor area must be open to the outdoors, and must not be substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable physical barriers.

Live Entertainment

  • If live entertainment is performed for spectators at the business or place, the performers must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any spectators, or are separated from any spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.

Note: other applicable City of Toronto by-laws place additional restrictions on music and entertainment for outdoor dining areas.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • The person responsible for the business or place must ensure the following are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition:
    • washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities made available to the public; and
    • any equipment that is rented to, provided to, or provided for the use of members of the public.
      • Applies to computers, electronics and other machines or devices that members of the public are permitted to operate.

Customer Records

  • Record the name and contact information of every patron that enters an area of the establishment, unless the patron temporarily enters the area to place, pick up or pay for a takeout order.
  • Maintain the records for a period of at least one month.
  • Only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, or as otherwise required by law.
  • Customer records are not required in an establishment which requires dine-in patrons to order or select their food or drink at a counter, food bar or cafeteria line and pay before receiving their order.

Sample TPH Resource:

Hospitals and Airports

  • Some of the above noted requirements do not apply to establishments on hospital premises or in an airport, or to establishments where the only patrons permitted at the establishment are persons who perform work for the business or place where the establishment is located, such as:
    • Capacities, including signage
    • Active screening of dine-in patrons
  • Refer to Reg. 364/20 for specific requirements.

 Dancing

  • No patron shall dance at the establishment.
  • See separate guidance document for food or drink establishments with dance facilities for specific requirements.

 

Recommendations for Meeting and Enhancing Compliance

The following recommendations are offered to assist restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments in meeting and enhancing compliance with some of the requirements summarized in this document.

Measures for all Workplaces, Businesses and Organizations

Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and customers safe. Operators should also consider the following:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting
    • Develop enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection policies and procedures.
    • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces at least twice a day, and more frequently as needed.
    • Clean and disinfect customer tables and seating surfaces after each use.
    • Menus in the form of menu-boards, chalkboards, online from customers’ mobile devices, or single-use paper menus are preferred. Reusable menus must be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
    • For cleaning and sanitizing food contract surfaces, equipment and utensils, follow standards prescribed in Reg. 493/17: Food Premises. The Province has also provided additional COVID-19 guidance for food premises.
  • Managing COVID-19 in the workplace
    • Employers must immediately notify Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 as soon as they become aware of two or more people who test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day interval in connection with their workplace premises, as per Toronto Public Health Instructions for Workplaces and Class Order for Workplaces Experiencing a COVID-19 Outbreak.
    • In the event that a case of COVID-19 is reported in a staff member or customer, it is not necessary for the establishment to discard any food that they may have been in contact with.
    • See Toronto Public Health’s Guidance on Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace for more information.

Staff Training

  • Educate staff on the proper use of masks/face coverings. They should change masks when moist or dirty. See more information on use of non-medical masks or face coverings.
  • Discourage staff from congregating in the lunchroom or common areas.
  • Educate staff on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
    • Wash hands frequently with liquid soap and warm water for at least 15-30 seconds, or use hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) if water and soap is not available.
    • Cover coughs or sneezes with the elbow or a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash hands.
  • Educate staff on the proper use of gloves. If staff use gloves, it is important to change them every hour, or more often, as necessary.
    • Hands should be washed and/or sanitized between changes.
    • Remove gloves when changing tasks.
    • When gloves are removed, new gloves must be used each time.
  • Encourage staff to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • In addition to the PPE requirements set-out above, staff should wear PPE consisting of a surgical/procedure mask and eye protection (goggles or face shield) if physical distancing or separation via a physical barrier cannot be maintained.
  • Non-medical masks or face coverings are not suitable for use as PPE.
  • See more information about PPE.

Entrances and Managing Lines

  • In addition to the requirements set out above, encourage customers to wear a mask or face covering while waiting in line outdoors.
  • Post signs which outline physical distancing requirements in lines and discourages individuals from gathering on the property or nearby right of way.
  • Use visual markers, stickers or pylons to encourage physical distancing while waiting.
  • Post an employee at the entrance to monitor the number of customers entering and leaving, and control/stagger customer entry to prevent crowding.
  • Once the capacity limit is reached, allow one customer in for every customer that leaves.
  • Consider requiring reservations during peak dining times to minimize lines and control flow.
  • Make alcohol-based hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) available for use by the entrance.

Physical Distancing

  • Remind customers and staff to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from people they don’t live with.
  • Post physical distancing signs at all entrances, service counters, and cashiers.
  • Place markers or circles on the ground so customers know where to stand when waiting or interacting with staff.
  • Design a walking flow for the establishment (e.g. creating one-directional aisles with prominent signage and/or floor markings), where appropriate.
  • Install plexiglass/barriers, if possible, where there will be close contact between staff and customers, at service counters and cashiers.
  • Rearrange equipment and/or processes in the kitchen and other areas used by staff so that at least two metres distance between staff can be achieved.
  • After placing a take-out order, encourage customers to wait at a distance until their food is ready.
    • Consider implementing an order numbering system to identify orders for pick-up.
    • Leave orders on the counter or set-up a side table for customers to pick it up their order without the need for staff contact.

Customer Records

  • In addition to the requirements set-out above, customer records should be kept in a legible manner, and include the following:
    • name, email address and telephone number;
    • the date the person attended, the party’s check in and check out times, and the party’s table number, or if there is no table number, the location where the party was served or consumed food or drink.
  • See the sample Customer Log which can be used.

Deliveries

  • Implement contactless delivery practices where possible. Contactless deliveries allow staff to leave a delivery at a doorstep, and move back to a distance of at least two metres while verifying receipt of the delivery with the person receiving the delivery.
  • Encourage customers to complete their transactions electronically (e.g. pre-payment in an app or over the phone). This eliminates the need for close contact between staff and the person receiving the delivery.
  • Delivery staff should keep interactions brief, maintain physical distancing as much as possible, wear a mask or face covering, and sanitize their hands after each delivery.
  • Avoid customer handling of mobile payment terminals and pens, where possible. Clean and disinfect these items if shared with a delivery recipient after each use.

Communication

  • Provide information to customers about business operations (e.g. public health measures, advance order options, curbside pickup).
  • Encourage staff and customers to get a COVID-19 vaccination if they haven’t already.
  • Designate a contact person (e.g. supervisor) to respond to COVID-19 concerns from staff and customers.
  • Print and post signs in highly visible areas, including at entrances, service counters, cashiers, and washrooms as a reminder for everyone to practice public health measures:

Other Resources

More Information

For more information, visit our website at toronto.ca/COVID19 or call us at 416-338-7600.
References
Centres for Disease Control (CDC). 2020. Food & Grocery Pick-up & Delivery Drivers. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/food-grocery-drivers.html


Download this information as a PDF. 

 

The following guidance should be used by owners and operators of restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Owners and operators are responsible for ensuring that their food premises is in compliance with all applicable legislative requirements under provincial and municipal law, including all orders made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020. As every food premises will be different, it is the responsibility of owners/operators to review their own policies, procedures, and site-specific operations, while ensuring that the appropriate infection prevention and control measures are implemented and maintained. As well, food premises must comply at all times with Ontario Reg. 493/17: Food Premises made under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist businesses and organizations with information related to legal requirements pursuant to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health’s (TPH’s) guidance and recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While efforts are made to ensure these documents provide accurate and timely guidance, for the most up-to-date requirements, owners and operators are encouraged to consult the applicable provincial regulations made under the Reopening Ontario Act. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional. The owner of a business or organization is required to be aware of and comply with all applicable legal requirements. Zoning by-laws and other City by-laws may also provide other applicable restrictions that must also be complied with.

Roadmap to Reopen: Step 3

Ontario Regulation 364/20, sets out requirements for businesses and organizations that are permitted to open. These requirements have been summarized below as they apply to restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided:

 

Compliance with Applicable Laws

  • The person responsible for the business or organization must comply with all applicable laws, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and regulations made under it.

Public Health Officials

  • The person responsible for the business or organization must follow the advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials, including on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting.

Health Screening

  • Post signs at all entrances to the premises of the business or organization in a conspicuous location visible to the public to inform individuals on how to self-screen themselves for COVID-19 prior to entering the premises.
  • Actively screen every person who works at the business or organization and patrons before they enter the premises of the business or organization.
    • The establishment must actively screen the workers and patrons in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Sample TPH Resources:

Masks and Face Coverings

  • The person responsible for a business or organization must ensure that all persons wear a mask or face covering that covers their mouth, nose and chin during any period when they are in an indoor area of the premises, or in a vehicle that is operating as part of the business or organization.
    • Some exceptions apply, including children under the age of two, and people with medical conditions that make wearing a mask difficult.
    • Proof of an exemption is not required.
  • The person responsible for a business or organization must ensure that every person who performs work for the business or organization and whose mask is temporarily removed to consume food or drink is separated from other persons by at least 2 metres distance or by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
  •  Every patron in an outdoor establishment must wear a mask or face covering that covers their mouth, nose and chin, unless an exemption applies, or if they are seated with members of their own household only, and every member of the household is seated at least two metres from every person outside their household. Patrons are permitted to remove a mask or face coverings temporarily to consume food or drink, or as may be necessary for health and safety.

Other Requirements:

  • Toronto Bylaw 541-2020 also requires operators to:
    • Create a mask policy for their establishment.
    • Communicate this policy to employees and patrons.
    • Post signs at all entrances to the premises in high visibility areas containing the required text.
    • Train employees on the policy, including exemptions.
    • Train employees on how to communicate with, and accommodate people who may be exempt.

Sample TPH Resources:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  •  A person shall wear appropriate PPE that provides protection of their eyes, nose and mouth if, in the course of providing services, the person:
    • is required to come within two metres of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering during any period when that person is in an indoor area; and
    •  is not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier from a person described above.

Proof of Vaccination

  • The person responsible for a business or organization must require each patron who enters an area of the premises described below to provide, at the point of entry, proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19:
    • the indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs, restoclubs, and other similar establishments, but not with respect to takeout and delivery service.
  • The above requirements do not apply where a patron is entering an indoor area solely:
    • to use a washroom;
    • to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route;
    •  to make a retail purchase;
    • while placing or picking up an order;
    • while paying for an order; or
    • as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  •  A business or an organization shall not retain any information provided pursuant to this section.

Additional Resources:

Capacity Limits

 

 

 

  • Limit the number of people in the indoor setting of the business or organization where takeout or delivery service is provided so that members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person.
  • When patrons are permitted to make use of the dance facilities:
    • Indoors: Limit the number of people in the indoor setting of the business or organization so that members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person and limit the capacity to 25%** capacity or 250 persons, whichever is less.

**25% capacity is determined by taking 25% of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of the business or facility, as calculated in accordance with the Ontario Fire Code.

    • Outdoors: Limit the capacity to 75%*** or 5,000 persons, whichever is less.

***75% capacity is determined by taking the total square metres of area accessible to the public, dividing that number by 1.33 and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.

  • A sign must be posted in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits which the establishment is permitted to operate under.

Seating

  • The establishment must be configured so that patrons seated at different tables are separated by:
    • a distance of at least two metres; or
    • plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.

Entrances and Managing Lines

 

 

  • Ensure that patrons are not permitted to line up or congregate:
    • outside the business or place, or at an outdoor attraction or feature within the business or place, unless they are maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons.
    • inside an indoor part of the business or place unless they are:
      • maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons; and
      • wearing a mask or face covering, unless entitled to an exemption.

Safety Plan

  • Prepare a safety plan, which:
    • describes measures and procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business to reduce the spread of COVID-19;
    • includes measures for screening, physical distancing, masks or face coverings, cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects, the wearing of PPE, and preventing and controlling crowding.
    • includes information on how the business, place or event will prevent gatherings and crowds, manage requirements for mask wearing and physical distancing where patrons are permitted to line up or congregate (as noted above), and mitigate the risk of any interactive activities, exhibits or games.
    •  is in writing and made available to any person for review, upon request; and
    • is posted in a conspicuous place where it is likely to come to the attention of those working or attending the location.

Sample TPH Resources:

Tents, Canopies, Retractable Roofs, etc.

  • If an outdoor area of the business or place is covered by a roof, canopy, tent, awning or other element, at least two full sides of the entire outdoor area must be open to the outdoors, and must not be substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable physical barriers.
  • If an outdoor area at the establishment is equipped with a retractable roof and the roof is retracted, at least one full side of the outdoor area must be open to the outdoors, and must not be substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable physical barriers.

Live Entertainment

  • If live entertainment is performed for spectators at the business or place, the performers must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any spectators, or are separated from any spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.

Note: other applicable City of Toronto by-laws place additional restrictions on music and entertainment for outdoor dining areas.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • The person responsible for the business or place must ensure the following are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition:
    • washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities made available to the public; and
    • any equipment that is rented to, provided to, or provided for the use of members of the public.
      • Applies to computers, electronics and other machines or devices that members of the public are permitted to operate.

Customer Records

  • Record the name and contact information of every patron that enters an area of the establishment.,
  • Maintain the records for a period of at least one month.
  • Only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, or as otherwise required by law.

Sample TPH Resource:

Recommendations for Meeting and Enhancing Compliance

The following recommendations are offered to assist restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments in meeting and enhancing compliance with some of the requirements summarized in this document.

Measures for all Workplaces, Businesses and Organizations

Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and customers safe. Operators should also consider the following:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting
    • Develop enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection policies and procedures.
    • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces at least twice a day, and more frequently as needed.
    • Clean and disinfect customer tables and seating surfaces after each use.
    • Menus in the form of menu-boards, chalkboards, online from customers’ mobile devices, or single-use paper menus are preferred. Reusable menus must be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
    • For cleaning and sanitizing food contract surfaces, equipment and utensils, follow standards prescribed in Reg. 493/17: Food Premises. The Province has also provided additional COVID-19 guidance for food premises.
  • Managing COVID-19 in the workplace
    • Employers must immediately notify Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 as soon as they become aware of two or more people who test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day interval in connection with their workplace premises, as per Toronto Public Health Instructions for Workplaces and Class Order for Workplaces Experiencing a COVID-19 Outbreak.
    • In the event that a case of COVID-19 is reported in a staff member or customer, it is not necessary for the establishment to discard any food that they may have been in contact with.
    • See Toronto Public Health’s Guidance on Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace for more information.

Staff Training

  • Educate staff on the proper use of masks/face coverings. They should change masks when moist or dirty. See more information on use of non-medical masks or face coverings.
  • Discourage staff from congregating in the lunchroom or common areas.
  • Educate staff on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
    • Wash hands frequently with liquid soap and warm water for at least 15-30 seconds, or use hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) if water and soap is not available.
    • Cover coughs or sneezes with the elbow or a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash hands.
  • Educate staff on the proper use of gloves. If staff use gloves, it is important to change them every hour, or more often, as necessary.
    • Hands should be washed and/or sanitized between changes.
    • Remove gloves when changing tasks.
    • When gloves are removed, new gloves must be used each time.
  • Encourage staff to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • In addition to the PPE requirements set-out above, staff should wear PPE consisting of a surgical/procedure mask and eye protection (goggles or face shield) if physical distancing or separation via a physical barrier cannot be maintained.
  • Non-medical masks or face coverings are not suitable for use as PPE.
  • See more information about PPE.

Entrances and Managing Lines

  • In addition to the requirements set out above, encourage customers to wear a mask or face covering while waiting in line outdoors.
  • Post signs which outline physical distancing requirements in lines and discourages individuals from gathering on the property or nearby right of way.
  • Use visual markers, stickers or pylons to encourage physical distancing while waiting.
  • Post an employee at the entrance to monitor the number of customers entering and leaving, and control/stagger customer entry to prevent crowding.
  • Once the capacity limit is reached, allow one customer in for every customer that leaves.
  • Consider requiring reservations during peak dining times to minimize lines and control flow.
  • Make alcohol-based hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) available for use by the entrance.

Physical Distancing

  • Remind customers and staff to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from people they don’t live with.
  • Post physical distancing signs at all entrances, service counters, and cashiers.
  • Place markers or circles on the ground so customers know where to stand when waiting or interacting with staff.
  • Design a walking flow for the establishment (e.g. creating one-directional aisles with prominent signage and/or floor markings), where appropriate.
  • Install plexiglass/barriers, if possible, where there will be close contact between staff and customers, at service counters and cashiers.
  • Rearrange equipment and/or processes in the kitchen and other areas used by staff so that at least two metres distance between staff can be achieved.
  • After placing a take-out order, encourage customers to wait at a distance until their food is ready.
    • Consider implementing an order numbering system to identify orders for pick-up.
    • Leave orders on the counter or set-up a side table for customers to pick it up their order without the need for staff contact.

Customer Records

  • In addition to the requirements set-out above, customer records should be kept in a legible manner, and include the following:
    • name, email address and telephone number;
    • the date the person attended, the party’s check in and check out times, and the party’s table number, or if there is no table number, the location where the party was served or consumed food or drink.
  • See the sample Customer Log which can be used.

Deliveries

  • Implement contactless delivery practices where possible. Contactless deliveries allow staff to leave a delivery at a doorstep, and move back to a distance of at least two metres while verifying receipt of the delivery with the person receiving the delivery.
  • Encourage customers to complete their transactions electronically (e.g. pre-payment in an app or over the phone). This eliminates the need for close contact between staff and the person receiving the delivery.
  • Delivery staff should keep interactions brief, maintain physical distancing as much as possible, wear a mask or face covering, and sanitize their hands after each delivery.
  • Avoid customer handling of mobile payment terminals and pens, where possible. Clean and disinfect these items if shared with a delivery recipient after each use.

Communication

  • Provide information to customers about business operations (e.g. public health measures, advance order options, curbside pickup).
  • Encourage staff and customers to get a COVID-19 vaccination if they haven’t already.
  • Designate a contact person (e.g. supervisor) to respond to COVID-19 concerns from staff and customers.
  • Print and post signs in highly visible areas, including at entrances, service counters, cashiers, and washrooms as a reminder for everyone to practice public health measures:

Other Resources

More Information

For more information, visit our website at toronto.ca/COVID19 or call us at 416-338-7600.

References

Centres for Disease Control (CDC). 2020. Food & Grocery Pick-up & Delivery Drivers. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/food-grocery-drivers.html


Download this information as a PDF.

Student nutrition programs (SNPs) provide nutritious meals and snacks to students to give them the nutrients and energy they need to be ready to learn. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that SNPs continue to offer access to safe, adequate and nutritious food during the school day, as outlined in the Nutrition Guidelines for Student Nutrition Programs.

The following interim guidance is to support SNP volunteer coordinators, parents, community members and staff operate an SNP, and to reduce the spread of COVID-19. SNPs must operate in accordance with all emergency orders made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, in addition to Ontario Regulation 493/17 – Food Premises. As every SNP site will be different, it is the responsibility of SNP volunteer coordinators to review their own policies, procedures, and site-specific operations, while ensuring that the appropriate infection prevention and control measures are implemented and maintained.

More information about COVID-19 can be found in the Toronto Public Health (TPH) COVID-19 Fact Sheet.

Toronto Public Health also encourages students who are 12 years of age and older, volunteers and teachers to get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. Read and share information about the vaccine and where to get vaccinated. Follow school vaccination policies if applicable.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals and businesses with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

Before Re-opening

Review Information on:

  • The mask or face covering policy for the particular SNP site (e.g. school, community centre).
  • The proper use of masks/face coverings.
    • Go to a private area away from others (e.g. private office) to change masks when moist or dirty.
    • More information on the use of masks or face coverings can be found here.
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
    • When preparing food, wash hands frequently with liquid soap and warm water for 15 to 30 seconds.
    • Cover coughs or sneezes with the elbow or a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash hands.
  • The proper use of gloves. Glove use is not essential, but if used, it is important to change them every hour, or more often, as necessary.
    • Hands should be washed and/or sanitized before and after use, and between changes.
    • Remove gloves when changing tasks.
    • When gloves are removed, new gloves must be used each time. Do not wear used gloves.
  • The COVID Alert app, so you can be notified directly if you have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.

Prepare the Physical Space

  • Ensure the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system(s) are properly maintained. Review the COVID-19: Transmission, Aerosols and Ventilation fact sheet for more information.
  • Check the condition of all food and discard expired or otherwise unfit products.
  • Wash, rinse and sanitize all food contact surfaces, equipment and utensils.
  • Ensure hand washing stations are functional and stocked with adequate supplies.
  • Clean and disinfect all non-food contact surfaces, including high-touch surfaces and objects such as door handles, light switches and equipment knobs. Refer to section on cleaning and disinfecting below.
  • Check thoroughly for signs of pest activity.
  • Clean, sanitize and ensure all hot and cold holding equipment are functional, where applicable.
  • Ensure dishwashing machines are functioning properly, where applicable.
  • Ensure adequate amounts of detergents and sanitizers are available for manual dishwashing.
  • Plan and modify the layout of the SNP areas (e.g. rearrange equipment or processes) to ensure enough space is provided such that all persons can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres between each other.
    • To calculate the maximum number of people permitted in a SNP area at any one time, assume one person per two metres square (43 square feet) of available floor space.
    • Post signage at the entrance to the SNP area indicating the maximum number of persons that can be permitted at any one time.
    • Design a flow of traffic that encourages one-way movement with visible signage and/or floor markings.
  • Provide physical cues or guides for people by placing markers such as tape or stickers, every two metres, where appropriate (e.g. food pick-up areas).
  • Follow enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection policies and procedures for the site that the SNP is operating at (e.g. school, community centre), including approved chemicals, if applicable.
  • Download, print and post signs in highly visible locations in the SNP area(s) to raise awareness about health and safety measures that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as:

*Note: SNPs should use the appropriate poster designated by the site where it operates.

During Active Operation

Health Screening and Attendance

  • Ensure all staff/volunteers complete a health screening questionnaire before each shift. The questions can be completed online, or on paper. Follow the health screening requirements for the designated SNP site (e.g. school, community centre), where applicable. Note an updated screening will be available before the start of the school year.
  • Adjust hours and shifts to reduce the number of people in the SNP area at any one time.
  • Instruct staff/volunteers to report any illness to the site authority (e.g. school principal).
  • If staff/volunteers become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 while at the SNP site, they should inform the site authority immediately, and then go home right away and self-isolate. Instruct them to call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, a health care provider, or an Assessment Centre to get tested.
  • Clearance tests are not required or recommended for staff/volunteers to return to the SNP site.
  • For other illnesses as declared by a healthcare provider, or if staff/volunteers tested negative for COVID-19, they should not attend the SNP site until they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours.

Physical Distancing

  • Physical distancing refers to the practice of avoiding close contact by keeping a distance of at least two metres from others.
  • Arrange, mark and/or assign workstations to ensure at least two metres distance between people in the SNP space.
  • Designate and manage entry and exit points to maintain physical distancing.
  • Avoid having people gather in the SNP areas.
  • Physical distancing should be maintained when accepting deliveries from suppliers and dropping off and picking up bins/trays.
    • Schedule times with individuals to pick up/drop-off items.
    • Stagger arrivals to reduce congestion, where possible.
  • Monitor and manage possible student lines outside and within the SNP area(s).
    • Place visual markers every two metres (e.g. stickers/tape on the floor, pylons, signs) to encourage physical distancing and guide volunteers, staff and students.
    • Request that volunteers, staff and students come one at a time to pick-up their bins/trays.

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

  • Wash hands thoroughly with liquid soap and warm water for 15 to 30 seconds.
    • Direct staff and volunteers to wash their hands frequently when handling and preparing food.
    • Remember to avoid touching your face, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Hand sanitizers are not a replacement for washing your hands with soap and water, and should not be used in the food preparation area by food handlers when handling or preparing food.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
  • Monitor supplies to ensure adequate amounts of liquid soap, paper towel (air dryer if paper towels are not available), tissues and waste containers lined with plastic bags.

Food Safety and COVID-19

  • The risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus through food is thought to be low.
  • There is currently no evidence of COVID-19 being transmitted through food or food packaging. However, food should be protected from contamination at all times, as outlined in Ontario Regulation 493/17 – Food Premises.
  • Ensure good food safety practices, in addition to the infection prevention and control measures outlined in this document, are followed when handling, preparing, transporting and serving food.

Preparing and Handling Food

  • Food handling outside of the food preparation area should be minimized as much as possible.
  • Hand contact should be minimized where possible by using utensils, especially when handling ready-to-eat foods, such as cut apples, carrots and cucumbers.
  • Pre-portion food items, where possible, such as individually packaging food items in containers or wrapping, before transporting to the area where it will be served.
  • If it is not feasible to pre-portion food in advance, food can be portioned in the serving area as long as the practice of minimizing food handling is followed.
    • For example, a teacher could portion food items, such as crackers or baby carrots, onto individual plates prior to service from a larger box/bag. Teachers must wash their hands prior to food handling and utensils should be used, where possible.
    • Only one person should use the serving utensil.
  • Food items such as whole fruits (e.g. apples, bananas, clementines) and grain products (e.g. muffins, crackers) do not need to be individually wrapped provided they are transported and served in a manner to prevent contamination.
  • Food items can be put together in one container (e.g. paper or plastic bag) for each student, or each item can be available for students to take from its own bin/tray.
    • For example, if the meal includes a granola bar, a carton of milk, and a banana, these items can be packaged together into one bag and put into a bin OR each item could be put into a separate bin/tray.
  • Depending on the food items, the use of trays are preferred over bins (e.g. loose apples) to allow for easier selection of food by students and minimizing hand contact.

Transporting Food

  • Bins or trays can be used to transport snacks and meals, provided all food is protected from contamination (e.g. food grade plastic/paper wrap, containers with covers, prepackaged foods).
  • Before food bins or trays are picked up from the food preparation area, staff/volunteers/students should wash their hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) if their hands are not visibly dirty, and be instructed not to touch the food in their bins/trays.
  • Bins and trays for food must be washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use, and when visibly dirty, whichever is more frequent.
    • If a bin or tray is stored in an area where people can touch it over a period of a day or week (e.g. outside a classroom), the bin/trays should be washed, rinsed and sanitized every day.

Serving Food

  • When serving food, hand contact should be minimized by using utensils, especially when handling unwrapped foods.
  • Grab-and go-formats are preferred.
    • For example, food items can be put together in one container (e.g. paper or plastic bag) for each student, or each item can be available for students to take from its own bin/tray.
    • Students should either wash their hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer, if their hands are not visibly dirty, prior to selecting and eating food.
    • Students should select and touch only the food they are taking.
    • Common utensils should not be used.
  • A teacher can portion and/or serve food items onto individual plates prior to service. Teachers must wash their hands with soap and water prior to food handling, and utensils should be used, where possible.
    • Teachers may use a barrier (e.g. paper towel), in place of a utensil to serve food to students (e.g. apples, bananas).

Attendance Records and Contact Tracing

  • Keep a log of when and where volunteers worked, with contact information (i.e. name and phone number or email address and vaccination status if available), in case it is required for contact tracing by Toronto Public Health.
  • Toronto Public Health will use this list to help with contact tracing efforts in the event that a person tests positive or an outbreak is identified.
  • Protect the personal information you collect (e.g. store in a locked drawer/office).
  • Keep records for 30 days, and then destroy the information (i.e. shred/delete).
  • Immediately notify Toronto Public Health (TPH) using the COVID-19 Workplace Reporting Tool as soon as you become aware of two or more individualswho test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day interval in connection with your workplace premises (i.e., the school, or location where the SNP is taking place).

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Maintain a log to track cleaning and disinfecting activities.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch, non-food contact surfaces, at least daily and as often as is required to maintain a sanitary condition and when visibly dirty (g. light switches, door knobs, hand rails, tables).
  • Review Public Health Ontario’s Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings fact sheet.
  • For washing, rinsing and sanitizing food contract surfaces, equipment and utensils, follow requirements in Ontario Regulation 493/17 – Food Premises. The Ontario Ministry of Health has also provided additional COVID-19 guidance for food premises.

Other Resources

More Information

For more information, visit our website at toronto.ca/COVID19, call us at 416-338-7600, or email us at DineSafe@toronto.ca.


Download this information as a PDF (also available in French).

Learn more about student nutrition programs (also available in French).