Update for Convention Centres and Restaurants

Published on August 24, 2020

The government is taking another step to safely reopen the economy by easing restrictions for facilities that rent out professional meeting and event spaces. Beginning August 21, professional meeting and event facilities, that follow requirements as per the plan approved by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, are permitted to privately rent out separate indoor spaces for up to 50 visitors, provided public health measures and restrictions can be followed, including at least two metres of physical distancing between all persons. Outdoor meeting and event facilities remain subject to the 100-person gathering limit for the whole outdoor area.


While professional meeting and event facilities are permitted to reopen as part of Stage 3, allowing for multiple meetings or events at a time will enable these businesses to welcome back more visitors, support their financial viability, and allow more hospitality employees to return to work. The province, in consultation with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH), worked with professional meeting and event facilities to develop a guidance document which is the plan that safely allows businesses to apply gathering limits for each separate meeting or event space within their facility. Our government will continue to work with all businesses to ensure that, as the province gradually reopens, Ontario will be in the best position to welcome the world back to the province.


Additionally, recording the name and contact information of patrons in restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments, and tour and guide services, supports case and contact tracing which can help to limit further spread of COVID-19. Endorsed by the Public Health Measures Table, the new regulatory change allows restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments as well as tour and guide services to only record the name and contact information of one person in every party instead of every person of the group.


This is less burdensome for operators and should not impede a public health unit’s ability to do case and contact tracing. Nothing is more important than protecting the health and well-being of Ontarians. It remains critically important for everyone to continue following public health advice as more businesses and services reopen in Stage 3.


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