Today, Toronto City Council approved the repeal of Bylaws 322-2020 and 323-2020, which regulated physical distancing in City of Toronto parks and public squares, as well as section 545-8.4.1 of Chapter 545, Licensing that implemented additional COVID-19 measures for food and drink establishments.
The repeal of the bylaws was based on a report from Toronto Public Health that took into consideration Toronto’s current epidemiological context, as well as overlap with the COVID-19 regulations contained in Step Three of the Government of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, which comes into effect this Friday.
Bylaws 322-2020 and 323-2020 were established early in the pandemic to ensure people who were not from the same household maintained a physical distance of two metres in parks and public squares. Although physical distancing continues to be an important public health measure, the risk of COVID-19 transmission in outdoor settings remains lower compared to indoor settings and the bylaws can be repealed without increasing the risk.
Residents are still expected to follow the provincial regulations that limit the number of people who can gather outdoors. The current limit in Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen is 25 people. As of Friday, the capacity limit for outdoor social gatherings and organized public events increases to 100 people.
Toronto Public Health’s recommendation to repeal the temporary COVID-19 measures for food and drink establishments in Chapter 545, Licensing, is based on the determination that the measures contained in the Step Three provincial regulations are sufficient given the current evidence and circumstances, to protect the population from COVID-19 transmission. Step Three includes capacity limits for both indoor and outdoor dining, requires employee screening and makes it mandatory for premises to keep customer logs for at least one month. It also requires that there be physical distancing and masks worn in lines and indoors.
All Toronto businesses are expected to review and familiarize themselves with the Step Three provincial regulations in the Reopening Ontario Act.
Toronto Public Health recommended Toronto’s two remaining COVID-19 bylaws related to masking and requirements for apartment building owners/operators remain in place and continue to be reviewed by the Medical Officer of Health on a monthly basis at a minimum.
The remaining bylaws are set to expire at the end of the September 30 and October 1 City Council meeting, unless extended by City Council.
Read the Supplementary Report on Amendments to Temporary COVID-19 Bylaws adopted today.
Council’s decision requires the enactment of a confirmatory bylaw for the repeal of the COVID-19 bylaws to take effect.
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.