Effective Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the Province is implementing targeted measures in Toronto to help stop the spread of COVID-19, including prohibiting indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments. The information below will be updated shortly to reflect these changes.

Last updated: October 9, 2020 at 4:45 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 or limited to take-out and delivery only.

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

COVID-19 Guidance for Farmers’ and Fresh Food Markets

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 fresh fruits, vegetables and food 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, and all emergency orders made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020. 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 Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Fact Sheet.

Markets that host performances and other attractions must comply with the COVID-19 Guidance for Indoor & Outdoor Events & Gatherings. Gathering limits as per current emergency orders must be followed.

Protective Measures to Keep Everyone Safe

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Keep a two metre/six feet distance from others, when possible.
  • Wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wear a face mask or covering when you are in indoor public spaces, as per the City bylaw, and when you cannot maintain a two metre/six foot distance outdoors.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Increase public awareness

  • Communicate COVID-19 preparations 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) through different communication platforms (e.g. market webpage, email social media accounts).
  • Encourage staff 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 customers and staff not to visit the farmers’ market if they are sick.
  • Post educational materials to encourage healthy behaviours that reduce the spread of COVID-19:

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, as per a new City of Toronto bylaw. Operators are required to 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/vendors on the proper use of masks, and 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.

Control and monitor entry

  • Designate a single entry and exit point to control the number of customers entering the market.
    • Post signage at the entrance indicating the conditions for entry. See the Farmers’ Market Ontario’s COVID-19 Fact Sheet as an example.
  • Close all other access points to the market using existing barriers/structures.
  • Limit the number of customers permitted into the market at any given time:
    • Position staff at the entrance to control customer entry and monitor the number of people entering and leaving.
    • If the maximum number of customers is reached, allow one person in for every person that leaves.
    • To calculate the maximum number of people that should be permitted in the market at any one time, apply the one person per four square metres of public/retail floor space rule.

Implement measures to maintain physical distancing

Physical distancing refers to the practice of avoiding close contact by keeping a distance of two metres/six feet from others. Plan and modify the layout of the farmers’ market to ensure enough space is provided for customers, vendors and market staff to maintain physical distancing. Strategies to ensure physical distancing among customers and staff can include:

  • Design a shopping flow that encourages one-way movement with prominent signage and/or floor markings.
  • Do not provide communal tables or seating in the market.
  • 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.
  • Monitor and manage customer lines:
    • Place visual markers/cues spaced two metres/six feet apart (e.g. tape on the floor, 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.
  • 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.

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-thru/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 a two metre/six foot distance from employees.

Support hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

  • Download and post Wash your Hands,?Cover your Cough,?Protect Yourselfsigns in high-traffic areas.
  • Provide hand sanitizer dispensers (70-90% alcohol concentration) by entrances and throughout the market for staff and customers use.
  • Ensure an adequate supply of liquid soap, paper towel, hand sanitizer, tissues, and waste receptacles throughout the venue and in washrooms.

Workplace Health & Safety for Market Organizers and Vendors

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.
  • 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, and the City of Toronto mask by-law.
Implement measures to protect food from contamination
  • Educate employees on proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
    • 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.
  • Prepackage foods offered for sale to reduce handling and direct contact.
  • Keep food out of the customer’s reach to discourage handling.
  • Do not provide samples.
  • Do not handle reusable containers/bags supplied by the customer.
  • Suspend accepting product returns.
  • Encourage customers to take their purchased foods home and wash thoroughly before eating.
Practice proper glove use
  • Glove use is not mandatory and 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 15 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.
Enhance environmental cleaning and disinfection
  • Assign market staff to complete environmental cleaning and disinfection duties.
  • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects in public areas (e.g. handrails, doorknobs, tabletops) at least twice a day and when visibly dirty.
  • Educate market staff on how to use cleaning agents and disinfectants, and ensure:
    • Required disinfectant contact times are followed (i.e. amount of time that the product will need to remain wet on a surface to achieve disinfection).
    • Use of safety precautions and required personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Directions for where and how to securely store cleaning and disinfectant supplies.
  • Maintain cleanliness of staff/vendor washrooms and other areas as necessary.
  • Provide waste receptacles lined with a plastic bag, and empty as often as necessary.

Download this information as a PDF.

Resource:

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

COVID-19 Guidance for Food Stores

The following interim guidance is to support owners and operators of food stores, including grocery stores, supermarkets and pharmacies, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Owners and operators are responsible for ensuring that their food store is in compliance with these public health guidelines, and all emergency orders made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020. As every food store 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.

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

Mandatory Mask or Face Covering Bylaw

Effective July 7, 2020, the use of non-medical masks or face coverings is required in all indoor public spaces, as per a new City of Toronto bylaw. Operators are required to develop a policy and protocols on the wearing of masks. Refer to the guidance on mask and face covering bylaw for a sample policy that your organization can adapt. More information is available here.

Staff Health Screening and Attendance

  • Inform staff about the changes being made to protect them against COVID-19 by posting signs, and updating information on the website or by email.
  • Ensure all staff complete a health screening questionnaire before each shift. The questions can be completed online, on paper or by asking your staff directly.
  • Adjust work hours and shifts to reduce the number of staff in your facility at any one time.
  • Have a flexible sick policy so staff do not come to work ill.
  • Remind staff about the importance of reporting illness to their supervisor/manager.
  • If staff become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 while at work, they should go home right away and self-isolate. Instruct staff to call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, a health care provider, or an Assessment Centre to get tested.
  • Staff should report to their Occupational Health and Safety Department prior to returning to work.
  • In general, staff can return to work 14 days after their symptoms began if they had COVID-19.
  • There are no clearance tests required for staff to return to work.
  • For other illnesses, or if a staff has tested negative for COVID-19, they should not attend work until they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours.

Staff Training

  • Staff should receive clear instructions on the new mask policy, and understand who is exempted from wearing a mask. Proof of exemption by customers is not required.
  • Educate staff on the proper use of masks/face coverings. They should change masks when moist or dirty, but in areas away from customers (e.g. lunch room, private office).
  • More information on use of non-medical masks or face coverings can be found here.
  • Discourage staff from gathering together 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 seconds, or use hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) if water and soap is not available.
    • Cover cough or sneeze 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.

Entrances

  • Set a capacity limit for the number of customers allowed in the store at any given time.
  • The capacity limit should be based on available retail floor space, to ensure ease of movement while maintaining a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from others. Consider one person for every two metres square (four squared metres) of floor space.
  • Post signage at the entrance stating of the maximum number of customers permitted at any one time.
  • Position an employee at the entrance to control customer entry.
  • Stagger customer entry into the store to prevent crowding.
  • Monitor the number of customers entering and leaving the store.
  • Once the capacity limit is reached, allow one customer in for every customer that leaves.

COVID-19 Screening

  • Post signs at store entrances explaining the conditions for entry.
  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, who has been in contact with a person with COVID-19, or has traveled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, should not enter the store.
  • Make alcohol-based hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) available for use by the entrance.

Communication

  • Inform customers about the changes you have made to protect them against COVID-19, such as using posters, updated websites, email, newsprint, and making announcements at regular intervals on the public announcement (PA) system.
  • Designate a contact person (e.g. supervisor) to respond to COVID-19 concerns from staff and customers.

Signage

Physical Distancing

  • Remind customers and staff to maintain a physical distance of two metres (six feet) as best as possible.
  • Use visual markers, stickers or pylons to encourage physical distancing while waiting outside.
  • Post physical distancing signs at all entrances, at service counters and cashiers.
  • Place markers or circles so customers know where to stand when waiting or interacting with staff.
  • Design a shopping flow for the whole store (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.
  • Set-up portable barriers around employees when restocking (e.g. produce carts).
  • Consider assigning an employee to direct customers to the cashier as they become available.
  • Consider staggering the number of cashier stations open at any given time (e.g. every other station is used).

Purchases

  • Provide clean carry-out bags for purchased food and grocery products.
  • Customers that bring their own reusable bags or boxes should package their own purchases.
  • Encourage electronic payment by debit or credit card, and touchless payment instead of pin pad use where possible.
  • Limit the handling of credit cards and loyalty cards, wherever possible.
  • Consider using one cashier for cash payments.
  • Avoid using grocery dividers on conveyor belts at cashier stations, where possible. Consider single use disposable dividers or direct customers to leave a space.
  • Update return policies to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. This may include:
    • Eliminating the opportunity to return purchased goods (i.e. final sale only).
    • Cleaning and disinfecting hard-surfaced goods prior to placing them back onto the sales floor.
    • Storing soft-surface items (e.g. cloth) for a period of 48 hours prior to resale.

Self-Service of Food or Beverage

  • Buffet-style or self-service of ready-to-eat and/or unpackaged bulk food are not yet permitted.
  • Self-serve beverages (e.g. soda, coffee) are also not yet permitted.
  • Staff may serve customers cafeteria style, provided all public health measures outlined in this document are adhered to (e.g. physical distancing, one-way flow, and plexiglass barriers).
  • Pre-package bulk food items, where possible.
  • Gravity feed bins may be used but should be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • Food sampling may resume if served in a prepackaged format, for take-home consumption.

Vulnerable Populations

  • Support vulnerable populations (e.g. seniors, people with underlying medical conditions) with access to dedicated store hours. Choose times at the start of the day, when the store is freshly cleaned, for these purchases.
  • Offer online or telephone food and grocery orders with contactless delivery or curb side pickup services as alternatives to shopping in person.

COVID-19 Outbreaks and Contact Tracing

  • Keep a staff log of when and where staff worked, with contact information in case it is required for contact tracing by public health.
  • Toronto Public Health will use this list to notify and provide instructions for close contacts to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • In the event that a case of COVID-19 is reported in a staff member or customer, it is not necessary for the store to discard any food that they may have been in contact with.
  • Additional public health advice in the event of an outbreak may include additional cleaning and disinfecting measures to reduce the risk of spread in the setting.

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Develop enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection policies and procedures.
  • Maintain a log to track cleaning and disinfecting activities.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting washrooms, as required.
  • High traffic areas and frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice per day, and when visibly dirty (g. freezer/cooler doors, countertops, hand rails, cashier stations, conveyor belts, debit/credit machines).
  • Clean and disinfect shopping carts and baskets after each use. Have a clearly designated drop off area for used carts and baskets.
    • Consider providing disinfecting wipes for customer use to wipe down handles on shopping carts and hand baskets.
  • Increase the number of shifts/hours to ensure enough time is spent cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Monitor and clean the parking lot daily and as necessary (e.g. for discarded gloves, masks, litter).
  • Review Public Health Ontario’s Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings fact sheet.
  • Refer to Health Canada’s list of hard-surface disinfectants for information on disinfectants effective against COVID-19.
  • For cleaning and sanitizing food contract surfaces, equipment and utensils, follow standards prescribed in Ontario Food Premises Regulation. The Ontario Ministry of Health has also provided additional COVID-19 guidance for food premises.

Workplace Health and Safety

  • Employers must have written measures and procedures for staff safety, including for infection prevention and control.
  • Ontario has general information on COVID-19 and workplace health and safety, where employers can learn about their responsibilities and how to protect workers at work.
  • Workers can also get information about health and safety protections at the workplace.

Other Resources


Download this information as a PDF.

Further guidance for food premises is available on the Ontario Ministry of Health’s website.

COVID-19 Guidance for Mobile Food Premises

Mobile food premises are required to operate according to Ontario Regulation 493/17 – Food Premises. Mobile food premises such as food trucks, food carts and ice cream trucks, must possess a valid license to operate in the city of Toronto.

Owners and operators are responsible for ensuring that their mobile food premise is in compliance with these public health guidelines, and all emergency orders made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020. It is the responsibility of owners/operators to review their policies, procedures, and site-specific operations, while ensuring that the appropriate infection prevention and control measures are implemented and maintained.

Operators are also responsible for ensuring that physical distancing is maintained by customers at all times. If crowds develop or physical distancing cannot be maintained, the operator should close down or move their truck to another location.

Mobile food premises operating as part of an event are also subject to COVID-19 Guidance for Indoor & Outdoor Events and Gatherings. More information on COVID-19 can be found in the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Fact Sheet.

Protective Measures to Keep Everyone Safe

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Keep a two metre/six feet distance from others, when possible.
  • Wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when you are in indoor public spaces, as per the City bylaw, and when you cannot maintain two metre/six foot distance outdoors.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Physical Distancing

  • Physical distancing refers to the practice of avoiding close contact by keeping a distance of two metres/six feet from others.
  • Limit the number of employees within the mobile food premises at any one time:
    • Employees should maintain physical distancing from each other and customers, where possible.
    • Assign each employee a specific work station(s) and tasks to reduce overlap.
  • Consider implementing the use of online and/or telephone ordering services.
  • Provide visible cues for customers lining up outside the mobile food premises by placing markers such as tape, stickers or safety cones every two metres/six feet.
    • Assign an employee to actively monitor the line-up to prevent crowding.
  • After placing an 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 the customer to pick it up without contact.
  • Install plexiglass barriers at take-out counters where employees may have close contact with customers.
  • Encourage electronic payment by debit or credit card, and tap instead of pin pad use where possible.
    • Assign one employee to process all transactions.
  • Avoid parking in the same lot or in close proximity to other mobile food premises.

Protection of Food, Packaging and Utensils

  • There is currently no evidence of COVID-19 being transmitted through food. However, food should be protected from contamination at all times, as outlined in Ontario Regulation 493/17 – Food Premises.
  • Do not provide squeeze bottles or open communal containers for customer use:
    • Use individual packets or pre-portioned containers for condiments (e.g. ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise), where possible.
    • Alternatively, employees can apply condiments as per the customer’s choice.
  • Provide individually wrapped/pre-packaged disposable utensils (i.e. forks, knifes, spoons).
  • Do not provide food samples to customers.

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

  • Educate employees on proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
    • Wash your hands with liquid soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds frequently throughout the day and after each interaction.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
  • Ensure the mobile food premises is provided with an adequate supply of hot and cold water, liquid soap and paper towels to facilitate the handwashing of employees.
    • Ensure the hand washing basin remains unobstructed and easily accessible at all times.
  • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) in a dispenser for customer use at the order/pick-up window.
  • Post Hand Washing, Cover your Cough and Hand Sanitizing signs in visible locations.

Glove Use

  • Use of gloves is not a substitute for proper hand hygiene. If employees use gloves, it is important to change them every hour, or more often, as necessary.
  • Hands should be washed with soap and water for 15 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.

Mandatory Masks and Face Coverings

  • Effective July 7, 2020, the use of non-medical masks or face coverings is required in all indoor public spaces, as per a new City of Toronto bylaw. Operators are required to develop a policy and protocols on the wearing of masks. Refer to the guidance on mask and face covering bylaw for a sample policy that your organization can adapt. More information is available here.
  • Masks/face coverings are strongly recommended for employees when physical distancing cannot be maintained, even when outdoors.
  • Train employees on the proper use of masks and how to safely put on and take off a mask.

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, steering wheel, dashboard dials/knobs and mobile payment terminals, at least twice a day.
  • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19.
    • Use only disinfectants that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) that confirms it is approved for use in Canada.
    • Check the expiry dates of products you use, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Chlorine bleach solutions may be used for disinfection if appropriate for the surface.
    • Prepare chlorine bleach solutions according to the instructions on the label or in a ratio of:
      • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) bleach per cup (250 mL) of water, or
      • 4 teaspoons (20 mL) bleach per litre (1000 mL) of water.
    • Ensure a minimum of two minutes contact time and allow to air dry.
    • Prepare fresh chlorine bleach solution daily.
  • For cleaning and sanitizing food contract surfaces, equipment and utensils, follow standards prescribed in Ontario Regulation 493/17 – Food Premises. The Ontario Ministry of Health has also provided additional COVID-19 guidance for food premises.

Workplace Health & Safety

  • Review the COVID-19 Guidance for Workplaces and Businesses to plan and implement protocols to keep staff safe.
  • Actively screen staff before each work shift. 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, and the City of Toronto mask by-law.

Communication

Useful Resources


Download this information as a PDF.

Resource:

COVID-19 Guidelines for Re-Opening your Restaurant, Bar and Other Food Service Premises

This guide provides you with the information you need to re-open your restaurant, bar or other food service premises. Part 1 provides advice on preparing your restaurant, bar or food premises for food service before reopening, and Part 2 helps you to provide food service after reopening.

If you have a specific question about anything in this document, please call Toronto Public Health (TPH) at 416-338-7600, email DineSafe@toronto.ca or visit www.swirlybuns.com/COVID19.

Restaurants, bars and other food service premises must comply with By-law 847-2020, which amends Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 545, Licensing, as well as the Stage 3 provincial regulation issued under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020 (O Reg 364/20).

There is no requirement for restaurants, bars or other food premises to be inspected by Toronto Public Health before reopening. However, if you are opening a new restaurant, bar or other food premises, you must contact Toronto Public Health before opening to arrange for an inspection. You also must comply at all times with Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493/17 made under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

COVID-19 Transmission

COVID-19 is spread mainly from person-to-person through close contact from respiratory droplets of someone with COVID-19. The respiratory droplets can travel up to two metres/six feet when we cough, sneeze or talk.

It is possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. The virus may survive on plastic and metal surfaces for several hours.

Main measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in restaurants, bars and other food premises

  • Physical distancing by keeping a two metre/six foot distance from both staff and customers.
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfection of all potentially contaminated surfaces.

Additional protective measures to keep everyone safe

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash hands often. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wear a face mask or covering when in an enclosed, public setting.

The following recommended actions apply both indoors and outdoors. Patios are encouraged wherever feasible. Patios provide conditions which inhibit the survival and spread of the COVID-19 virus. Patios must also comply with all City of Toronto requirements, available online at toronto.ca/cafeTO.

Part 1: ?Before Reopening

The following are recommended actions to be taken prior to opening your establishment for business:

Develop Protocols/Policies
  • As required under City bylaw, establish a COVID-19 screening protocol to be applied to each employee before they start a shift that consists of at least the Toronto Public Health screening questionnaire. The screening protocol must be produced on request to any City enforcement officer.
  • Staffing: stagger shifts, stagger breaks and lunch breaks, update absence policies, and new protocols for back filling absences.
    • In addition to implementing a screening protocol, operators should ensure that staff are not permitted to work if they show symptoms of COVID-19. Staff should report any symptoms developed during shift to their supervisor.
    • Staff should be aware of COVID-19 precautions, and physically distance as much as possible, including with other staff. Staff congregating can be a high risk for COVID-19 transmission.
  • Train staff in proper use of gloves and masks. Gloves are not essential, but, if used, must be changed frequently and hands washed between uses.
  • Consider how to train staff on new procedures/requirements.
  • Operators are required to develop a policy on the wearing of masks. More information is available here.
  • Consider policies for customers: for example, reservations preferred/only; payment by card preferred/only.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting: update protocols for cleaning/disinfecting surfaces and equipment.
Prepare the Physical Space
  • Check the condition of all food and discard expired or otherwise unfit products.
  • Wash, rinse and sanitize all food contact surfaces.
  • Ensure hand washing stations are adequate and functional.
  • Clean and disinfect all non-food contact surfaces, including high touch areas such as door handles and equipment knobs.
  • Check thoroughly for signs of pest activity. Consider contracting a licenced pest management company prior to opening to ensure there is no infestation.
  • Clean, sanitize and ensure all hot and cold holding facilities/equipment are functional.
  • Where applicable, ensure dishwashing machines are functioning adequately.
  • Ensure adequate amounts of sanitizers and detergents are available for manual dishwashing.
  • Ensure garbage storage areas are clean and of adequate size for the needs.
  • Clean and disinfect washrooms, and ensure adequate supplies are available.
  • Ensure faucets are working properly and flush pipes for at least five minutes.
  • Remove waiting area seating, and create a process to ensure that customers stay separate and maintain physical distancing while waiting to be seated.
  • Demarcate the floor with markers for any areas where a line up may occur.
  • Keep chairs well away from high traffic areas if possible.
  • Rearrange equipment and/or processes in the kitchen and other areas used by staff so that a two metre/six foot distance is achievable at all times. If not feasible, staff must wear masks.
  • If necessary, rearrange pick-up by servers to maintain distance (e.g. use the bar as a serving area).
  • If necessary, install barriers (e.g. plexiglass) to protect staff (e.g. host desk) or customers (e.g. between back-to-back booths).
  • Remove buffet-style meal service, self-serve locations, and self–serve drink dispensing machines (O Reg 364/20).
  • Reconfigure break rooms/areas and eating areas for staff to physically distance.
  • Provide direction to customers:
    • Install directional arrows (e.g. at entrance/exit) if possible.
    • Erect signage for physical distancing, passive screening having customers screen themselves by following steps described on a poster, and any policies affecting customers.
  • 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 (O Reg 364/20)
  • Rearrange and/or remove seating and tables, or mark them as unavailable to ensure physical distancing
  • Menus: single-use paper, online for customers’ mobile devices, menu-boards, chalkboards, or regular menus cleaned between uses.
  • Tables: do not pre-set tables; utensils should be rolled or packaged.
  • Table items: replace regular condiments with single-serve versions, or sanitise between uses, consider disposable napkins, etc.
  • Signage: post signs on handwashing, physical distancing, reporting symptoms, and make them visible to staff and customers.

Part 2: After Re-Opening

The following are recommended actions to be taken after opening your establishment for business:

Cleaning
  • Give attention to key touch points and objects (e.g. food contact surfaces, hand contact areas, door handles, switches, table tops, chairs, sneeze guards, restrooms, taps, utensils and dispensers).
  • Shared equipment such as credit card machines and cash registers.
  • Consider installing devices such as automatic doors and lights, electronic taps, etc.
  • Specify and obtain approved hard-surface cleaning materials. Thoroughly clean the premises before opening.
  • More details on cleaning and disinfection are available at Public Health Ontario’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings.
  • Maintain cleaning and sanitation logs.
Customers and Staff
  • Supply dispensers for hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) to staff and customers, including at the door.
  • Minimise unnecessary contact between customers and staff (e.g. place clearly visible numbers on tables and ask customers to seat themselves. Minimise the time staff spend within two metres/six feet of customers).
  • Install directional arrows to direct employees and minimize direct contact.
  • Have staff practice physical distancing during breaks.
  • Assign staff to specific tasks and minimize contact between them.
  • Ensure staff have access to gloves and masks as needed.
  • Encourage frequent handwashing using the correct technique, and to avoid touching the face.
  • Keep a staff log of when and where staff worked, with contact information, in case it is required for contact tracing by public health.
  • The owner/operator, or another person appointed for that purpose, should be present and checking to ensure adherence to protocols.
  • Businesses open to the public must ensure that any person (patron or employee) in the indoor area of a premises or a vehicle operated as part of the business or organization wears a mask that covers their mouth, nose and chin while the person is in the indoor area unless:
    • the area is inaccessible to members of the public and
    • the person is able to keep a minimum of a two metre distance between themselves and any other person (O Reg 364/20).
  • There are numerous exceptions listed in Section 2(4) of Schedule 1(O Reg 364/20) that allow for individuals to not wear a mask indoors, and individuals do not need to present evidence that they are entitled to or qualified to rely on any of the exceptions.
  • The use of non-medical masks or face coverings is required for staff in all indoor areas when physical distancing cannot be ensured.
  • Ensure that the number of customers permitted to be inside the establishment at any one time is limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres/six feet from every other person in the establishment, and must not exceed 75 customers indoors (subject to any exemptions as determined by the Medical Officer of Health or their designate) (By-law 847-2020).
  • Ensure that no more than six people are seated at each table in an indoor or outdoor area (By-law 847-2020).
  • Operators of an adult entertainment club, billiard hall, eating or drinking establishment, entertainment establishment/nightclub or place of amusement can apply to the City for an Indoor Dining Capacity Exemption.
  • The operator is required to ensure patrons maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons outside the establishment and patrons must wear a mask unless they are entitled to any of the exceptions listed in section 2(4) of Schedule 1(O Reg 364/20)
  • Customers who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 should be refused entry. Display posters telling customers if they have symptoms they cannot enter.
  • Customers must be seated at all times in any area of the establishment in which food or drink is permitted except:
    • while entering the area and going to their table
    • while placing or picking up an order
    • while paying for an order
    • while exiting the area
    • while going to or returning from a washroom
    • while lining up to do any of the above, or
    • where necessary for the purposes of health and safety (O Reg 364/20 and By-law 847-2020).
  • Make sure that tables are cleaned and sanitized at least daily and between sittings.
  • Consider opening doors and/or windows to increase ventilation.
  • Dancing, singing or performing music is prohibited at the establishment except:
    • A person or group under contract with the establishment may dance, sing or perform music in compliance with the requirements set out in O Reg 364/20
    • Members of the public may sing or perform music at the establishment if:
      • they are separated from every other person, including from other performers, by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier while singing or while performing on a brass or wind instrument;
      • they maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person while singing or performing music; and
      • any equipment used by members of the public while singing or performing music is cleaned and disinfected between each use.
    • Background music and any other background sounds, such as from televisions or other electronic sound producing devices, in an establishment that serves food and drink must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation (does not apply to performing arts regulated under O. Reg. 364/20 Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under s.11, Performing Arts).
    • It is advised to keep the volume of music, either live or recorded, at a reasonable level – one that does not cause customers to raise their voices or shout, thereby possibly increasing the risk of transmitting the virus.
Customer log (O Reg 364/20 and By-law 847-2020).
  • The person responsible for the establishment must maintain a customer log:
  • use the City’s customer log template to record the name and contact information for each patron that enters an indoor or outdoor dining area in the establishment.
  • record the date, check in and check out times, and location of seating (table number or location of the premises) for each party
  • maintain the records for a period of at least one month, after which the information should be destroyed, and
  • only disclose the records to a Medical Officer of Health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.
  • When a patron temporarily enters the establishment to pick up or pay for takeout order, contact information is not required.
  • A limited-service establishment is required to collect the name and contact information for at least one member of every party of patrons. A “limited-service establishment” is defined as an establishment where all dine-in patrons order or select their food or drink at a counter, food bar or cafeteria line and pay before receiving their order.?The contact tracing information can be collected at the point of ordering and payment counter or when the patron collects the food or drink and proceeds to sit down at a table within the food premises ( O Reg 364/20 ).
  • Post the Toronto Public Health notice of collection sign at all entrances (and at additional locations if required by the Medical Officer of Health or their designate), notifying the public about the collection of customer information.
  • Encourage staff 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.
  • It remains critically important to monitor and continue to follow?public health advice.
Screening
  • The person responsible for the business or organization must comply with any advice, recommendations, and instructions issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening for COVID-19 (O Reg 364/20).
    • Workplaces should implement this screening for any workers or essential visitors entering the work environment. This does not include patrons entering a workplace (e.g. customers entering a grocery store, restaurant, bar or other food or drink establishment). It also excludes emergency services or other first responders entering a workplace for emergency purposes.
    • Screening should occur before or when a worker enters the workplace at the beginning of their day or shift, or when an essential visitor arrives.
    • At a minimum, the questions in the screening tool should be used to screen individuals for COVID-19 before they are permitted entry into the workplace (business or organization). This tool may be adapted based on need and the specific setting.
    • Instructions in the screening tool should be followed.
    • Anyone who does not pass screening should be advised that they cannot not enter the workplace and should immediately go home, self-isolate, and call their health care provider or Telehealth Ontario.
    • Once an individual has passed the screening questions, they should be allowed to enter the workplace, but advised that they should report any symptoms they do experience to their supervisor immediately.
Operating Hours
  • Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments (e.g. banquet halls) may only sell and serve alcohol between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Alcohol may only be consumed by between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m., including for employees. These establishments must be closed to the public between 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. except for takeout or deliver (O Reg 364/20).

Download and Print Posters for your Restaurant

Additional Resources

More information

Visit our website at www.swirlybuns.com/COVID19, email DineSafe@toronto.ca, or call us at 416-338-7600.


Download this information as a PDF.

Resources:

COVID-19 Guidance for Student Nutrition Programs

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.

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 at least 15 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 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
  • 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 provided with adequate supplies.
  • Clean and disinfect all non-food contact surfaces, including high-touch areas such as door handles and equipment knobs. Refer to section on cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Check thoroughly for signs of pest activity.
  • Clean, sanitize and ensure all hot and cold holding facilities/equipment are functional, where applicable.
  • Ensure dishwashing machines are functioning properly, where applicable.
  • Ensure adequate amounts of sanitizers and detergents 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 two metres (six feet) 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 (six feet), 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.
  • 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.
  • In general, individuals can return to the SNP site 14 days after their symptoms began if they had COVID-19.
  • There are no clearance tests required for staff/volunteers to return to the SNP site.
  • For other illnesses, 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 two metres (six feet) from others.
  • Arrange, mark and/or assign workstations to ensure a minimum two metres/six feet 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 (six feet) apart (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 and pick-up their bins/trays.
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
  • Wash hands thoroughly with liquid soap and warm water for at least 15 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 with lined 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 a 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.
  • Buffet-style or self-service of food or drink, where students are able to select from unpackaged or prepared food (e.g. passing around a tray with common utensils to serve yourself) is currently not permitted.
  • 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), 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. locked drawer/office).
  • Keep records for 30 days, and then destroy the information (i.e. shred/delete).
  • Call us at 416-338-7600 if you have been notified that a staff or volunteer has tested positive and/or you have concerns that others may have been exposed while at the SNP.
Cleaning and Disinfecting

Other Resources


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

Learn more about student nutrition programs.