If you've got a restaurant booking coming up, you'll probably have to cancel it. From Tuesday, the city is advising that all Ottawa bars and restaurants shut down in response to COVID-19 fears. The move comes as services across Ontario close, on the recommendation of the province's leading health officials.

Starting on Tuesday, the City of Ottawa is urging all local dine-in restaurants and bars to stop serving customers.

In a statement on Monday evening, after the Prime Minister introduced stronger measures to combat COVID-19, Ottawa's Mayor explained that the city must also take decisive action.

Speaking to CTV News at Five, Mayor Jim Watson explained, “We're asking bars and restaurants to close. They can still offer take-out or delivery options, if they have that capacity.”

Watson continued, “The recommendation from the province is that bars and restaurants close, and we're following that recommendation starting (Tuesday).”

The Mayor noted that this advice came from Ontario's Medical Officer of Health, and added that similar action is being taken in Toronto.

While the move is only temporarily, it is not yet known when the city's establishments will be allowed to re-open to the public.

This comes just one day after Ottawa also announced the closure of city-managed recreation and cultural facilities, such as libraries, swimming pools, theatres and museums.

While there will no longer be an option to dine in at your favourite restaurant, takeout and delivery services will still be available wherever possible.

Ontario's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, explained, “some people would still probably benefit if they are in isolation to have that provision and make that helpful, so we are asking those things to stay.”

Several of the city's most popular locations have already closed their doors, citing the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the importance of self-isolation as their explanation.

This comes as Ottawa's Medical Officer of Health has urged residents to avoid all non-essential trips out of the house, wherever possible.

Speaking at the weekend, Dr. Vera Etches explained, "I recommend that they don't go out for non-essential reasons.”

She added, “Social distancing measures can make a huge difference to slow the rapid spread of illness.”

You can keep up-to-date with all of the latest COVID-19 news in Ottawa by clicking here.

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