Windsor-Essex has been permitted to move to Stage 3 of the Province of Ontario’s reopening framework. So what does that mean for the hospitality and tourism industries? What can and can’t you do as a customer? What are the restaurants permitted to do?
First, let’s start the basics.
PHYSICAL DISTANCING & SOCIAL CIRCLES
Even during Stage 3, physical distancing of at least two metres must be maintained between all individuals, except for those from the same household or social circle. Social circle limits are still being kept to 10 people.
NEW GATHERING LIMITS
While social circles a guest can be in close, regular contact with is limited to 10 people, gathering limits in general have been increased.
Indoor gathering limits will now be increased to a maximum of 50 people, while outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people. In all cases, individuals are required to continue to maintain physical distancing of at least two metres with people from outside their households or social circles.
All businesses, services and public spaces when hosting an event are subject to indoor or outdoor gathering limits and ensuring physical distancing can be maintained.
People who are working, including performers and crews, do not count towards gathering limits.
RESTAURANTS, BARS & NIGHTCLUBS
Stage 3 finally allows restaurants, bars, concession stands and other food and drink establishments to open for indoor dining. Establishments providing indoor dining must take appropriate measures to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres between patrons from different tables, unless separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
Physical distancing of two metres between patrons from different households or social circles also continues to apply to food trucks, food courts, concession stands and tours, including tastings at wineries, breweries and distilleries, and buffet style service is still not permitted in Stage 3.
When dining at a restaurant, whether indoor or outdoor, all patrons must be seated at all times except when entering/exiting the establishment or heading to the washrooms.
Businesses are required to secure the full names and contact information for each guest on their property.
Unfortunately, nightclubs are not yet safe to open, except for the purpose of serving food or drinks to patrons in accordance with the conditions
that apply to restaurants and bars.
Singing or music may be performed by a person or group at the restaurant or bar, with restrictions, including barriers between the performers and patrons and physical distancing. In a throwback to the 1980’s film, Footloose, dancing is still not allowed and may only be performed by someone working at the establishment with restrictions.
TOURS & GUIDE SERVICES
For tours, like the Wine Trail Ride, the Urban Gallery Bike Tour and including boat tours, the number of patrons is subject to gathering limits stated above. Physical distancing of at least two metres must be maintained between all individuals, except for those from the same household or social circle.
The outdoor gathering limit of 100 applies if patrons will be outside for the duration of the tour except to access washrooms, in transit to an outdoor area, or for health and safety reasons. As with other gatherings and events, the indoor gathering limit of 50 applies if the gathering is fully or partially indoors.
Businesses are required to secure the full names and contact information for each guest on their tours.
Casinos can finally reopen, but, with some big restrictions in place. They are subject to gathering limits and physical distancing measures, which apply to the entire facility. This means Caesars Windsor would only permitted 50 guests at a time if they decide to reopen, which has been indicated isn’t feasible for a large casino like theirs.
Also, table games will not be permitted in Stage 3 and must remain closed.
MUSEUMS, ATTRACTIONS & HERITAGE INSTITUTIONS
While permitted to reopen in Stage 2, restrictions for museums, attractions and heritage institutions have been eased just a little bit more. In addition to the exhibits opened in Stage 2, high-contact surfaces such as interactive exhibits and displays may open as long as they are cleaned and disinfected frequently.
All special events, instructional classes and performances at these locations are subject to gathering limits and physical distancing measures.
LIVE SHOWS, PERFORMING ARTS & MOVIE THEATRES
Concerts, artistic events, theatrical productions, performances, and movie theatres may resume operations, including rehearsals, with certain restrictions in place.
Performers must maintain physical distancing of two metres from every other person, except from other performers where necessary for purposes of the performance. Also, audiences are subject to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least two metres and cannot exceed gathering limits of 50 indoors and 100 outdoors. This applies to the entire facility, regardless of the number of theatres or performance
stages within the facility. Performers and staff are not included in the gathering limits.
Plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier is required between the audience and singers as well as players of brass or wind instruments.
Drive-in and drive-through venues are not subject to gathering limits.
PLEASE BE KIND AND COURTEOUS
We hope this goes without saying, but, feel it needs to be said again. Businesses and their staff are doing what is legally required of them as well as trying to keep their staff and patrons safe. They are already under an immense amount of stress. Please be kind and be nice. Do not argue. Do not make backhanded comments. If you’ve reached this point of the article you’ve read the rules above and know what is required if you’re to attend any of the above establishments.