Things are getting a lot stricter now in the city amid the development of COVID-19 in Ontario. Toronto's medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa is now calling on all restaurants, bars, nightclubs and theatres to close down immediately as the number of cases continues to rise. If this closure is not effected voluntarily, orders will be issued and owners could face a huge fine.
In a statement on Monday, March 16, de Villa urged Toronto and the province to take more decisive action. She called upon bars, restaurants and other venues to start making these closures from 12:01 a.m. overnight tonight.
According to CBC, the city's most prominent health staffer strongly recommends that, for the time being, customers only use delivery and takeout services.
"We have some evidence of community transmission," said de Villa.
"I believe these unprecedented public health recommendations are necessary in order to protect the health of all Toronto residents," she said in the City release.
Meanwhile, Toronto Mayor John Tory, who is currently himself self-isolating after returning to Canada from the U.K., reiterated de Villa's stance."We are following the advice of our public health professionals to make sure we are doing everything possible to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and protect our residents and our city," Tory said.
Toronto Medical Officer of Health strongly recommends dine-in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and theatres temporari… https://t.co/sRG7ZpOFIh— City of Toronto (@City of Toronto)1584389427.0
"Every opportunity to avoid interactions with others helps to prevent the spread of this disease. Every interaction avoided helps to flatten the curve," said de Villa via the City of Toronto statement.
"So, if you can, stay home, help out our city by reducing your interaction with others. Every little bit counts."
So important is the need to avoid social gatherings that, if businesses decide not to comply with the recommendation, orders will be issued to each individual establishment which falls under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
I support Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. @epdevilla’s strong recommendation for restaurants, bars, nightclub… https://t.co/38Zp5E2o4l— John Tory (@John Tory)1584389234.0
If those are ignored, huge financial punishment could come into play.
This latest move comes just a few hours after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau closed Canada's borders to non-residents with the exception of Mexican and U.S. citizens.
Trudeau also called for all Canadians to stay home in order to fight the potential exposure to COVID-19.