Leaving your phone number, staying seated: New rules for restaurants in Waterloo Region
KITCHENER -- The provincial government has updated safety measures for restaurants reopening their doors now that Ontario is in Stage 3 of its economic recovery plan.
The update released on Friday said customers need to stay seated at all times, whether dining indoors or outdoors, with an exception for anyone using the washroom.
Bars, restaurants and tour boat operators in the province need to keep client logs for 30 days and provide them to public health officials if required for contact tracing.
Red House Food and Drink can seat up to 66 people between indoor and outdoor tables.
"[We're] advising all of our customers to make a reservation so that we have all of their information when they arrive at the restaurant," manager Ainsley Szvitak said.
The restaurant has been keeping a customer log for weeks.
"It stays in our online booking system permanently," Szvitak said. "It's really nice everyone's now following the same guidelines, because you don't get pushback from customers saying, well one restaurant is doing it this way, why are you doing it that way?"
"Protecting the health and well-being of all Ontarians has always been our top priority," Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, said in a news release Friday. "These additional measures will help reduce close contact between individuals in these settings, and support case and contact tracing, thereby limiting the spread of COVID-19."
Waterloo Region restaurants were allowed to open for outdoor dining on June 12 and indoor dining on July 17.
The region's website warns restaurateurs that there is "a good chance that a COVID-19 positive case will dine at your restaurant at some point." Restaurants are encouraged to review their cleaning schedule, provide a reservation list to public health officials, create a communication plan for employees and have a staffing plan in place if someone is identified as a close contact to someone with the virus.
The region also said it's up to the restaurants to provide a safe environment to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.