Meghani Issues New Instructions for restaurants/bars, food industry

Halton Region's Chief Medical Officer of Health: Dr. Hamidah Meghani has issued new instructions for Halton Region businesses Image credit: Global News

By: Laura Steiner
The province of Ontario has adjusted its guidelines for restaurants in the red- control areas, which, includes Halton. The changes were effective as of March 20, 2021.
The new provincial rules include allowing 50% up to 50 patrons, as long as physical distancing rules are observed.  Halton’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) Dr. Hamidah Meghani has issued seven additional restrictions effective immediately applicable to restaurants, bars, concession stands, and food trucks.
Meghani added the following rules:
Seating: Patrons must be seated at tables either with a plexiglass divider, or 2 metres (six feet) away.  Patrons who enter an indoor establishment or patio, must be actively screened for COVID-19 unless picking up takeout.
Contact Tracing: Establishments must collect the following information for patrons sitting in a dining room, or on a patio

  •  First and last name;
    Telephone number and municipality of residence; and if possible, email or mailing address;
    Attendance details: date; arrival time; table number or location; and departure time (recorded on
  • The results of the active screening required in para 3  confirmation that screening was
    completed and the patron passed screening;
  • Verbal confirmation that that patrons are seated with members of the household.  Or with one other household, if they live alone or are considered a caregiver for someone in that household.

Information must be collected, and retained for a period of no longer than a month.  It should be available with two hours of a request from Halton Public Health.
Employees, suppliers, and anyone else working at establishments must be actively screened for COVID-19 on a daily basis.  The results must be reviewed to determine if the employee can enter.
To encourage honest reporting, employers will be required to make workers aware of any benefits, and pay if they are required to self-isolate if they believe they are ill with COVID-19, or have come into contact with one, or are in contact with someone who has tested positive, or is a probable case of COVID19.
The moves are in response to an increase in case numbers, as well as variants of concern. “Halton Region and Ontario have also now experienced outbreaks and community transmission of Variants of Concern of the virus that causes COVID-19,” Meghani said.  Halton has recorded 26 cases of UK variant, B.1.1.7.  Two have been found in Oliver’s Steakhouse in Oakville.  For more information on the new rules click here