Indoor Dining Permitted at Bars and Restaurants in Ontario's New Tiered System
Disappointing restrictions placed on indoor dining even though restaurants have controlled environments
Ontario has unveiled a new tiered system for managing COVID-19 shutdowns based on the trends of each public health unit. The new system will allow regions to gradually increase or decrease restrictions as needed.
Ontario's gathering limits remain as:

Private Events - 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors

Organized Events - 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors, unless the region moves to the control phase.
Indoor dining will be allowed to resume on November 7, 2020 at 12:01 AM at all restaurants and bars in Ontario with certain limitations based on their designated category. Government has introduced five new categories:

  1. Prevent
  2. Protect
  3. Restrict
  4. Control
  5. Lockdown

For regions in the prevent category, indoor dining continues similar to how it currently operates in Stage 3 regions. Patrons are required to be seated, with a minimum of two metres between tables.

Regions in the PREVENT category include:

  • Algoma Public Health;
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health;
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit;
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health;
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit;
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health;
  • Huron Perth Public Health;
  • Lambton Public Health;
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit;
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit;
  • Niagara Region Public Health;
  • North Bay Parry Sound District;
  • Northwestern Health Unit;
  • Peterborough Public Health;
  • Porcupine Health Unit;
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts;
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services;
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit;
  • Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit;
  • Southwestern Public Health;
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit;
  • Timiskaming Health Unit;
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health; and
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
Regions in the protect category must close establishments by midnight and only serve liquor between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. No liquor can be consumed after 12 a.m. A maximum of six people can be seated at a table, contact tracing is mandatory and music can’t be louder than the volume of a normal conversation. 

Regions in the PROTECT category include:

  • Brant County Health Unit;
  • City of Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Durham Region Health Department; and
  • Halton Region Public Health
For regions in the restrict category, venues will have a 50-person capacity for indoor dining. Establishments must close by 10 p.m. and no liquor can be sold between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m.

There can be no consumption of liquor after 10 p.m. There is a limit of four people per table.

Regions in the RESTRICT category include:
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit;
  • Ottawa Public Health;
  • Peel Public Health;
  • Toronto Public Health (will be delayed in entering the Restrict level until November 14, 2020); and
  • York Region Public Health.

Strip clubs must remain closed in the restrict category but can open in protect and prevent. 
If a region moves to the control phase, indoor dining may remain open but a 10-person indoor capacity limit will apply.

There are currently no public health units in the control or lockdown phases.
We will continue to keep you informed as we stand united during these difficult times. if you have any questions, we are here to help. We welcome your questions and concerns at or call us at (905) 361-0268 or (800) 668-8906.
Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA)
2600 Skymark Ave, Suite 8-201 Mississauga, ON L4W 5B2
905-361-0268 / 1-800 -668-8906 |