July 29th, 2020

Ford must implement GTA mayors' six safety measures to ensure Stage 3 is safe: NDP

TORONTO — Gurratan Singh, NDP MPP for Brampton East and Attorney General critic for the Official Opposition, said that as more regions move into Stage 3, the Ford government must implement the six safety measures GTA mayors have asked the province for in order to ensure that the province is safe, and less likely to backslide.

"People and businesses have been working hard to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep their neighbours safe," Singh said. "As more regions move to Stage 3, it is critical that the Ford government not just cross his fingers and hope it’s safe – but actually take steps to make it safe.

The NDP is calling for the province to implement these six measures as an emergency order in any region still showing community spread. Reopening indoor service at bars and restaurants is an increased risk. It’s Ford’s job to mitigate those risks.”

The proposed measures include extra provisions to reinforce physical distancing inside restaurants and bars; mandatory client logs for contact tracing; earlier closure times; additional screening for staff and clearer requirements around mandatory face coverings.

"It’s not too late to take a harm reduction approach and make Stage 3 more successful,” said Singh. “Let’s implement the additional six measures immediately, and make sure the hard work of people and businesses to flatten the curve is not undone.”


The six changes called for by the GTA mayors are:

  1. Requiring customers of indoor food and drink establishments to be seated at all times unless walking in or out, going to the washroom or paying the bill. The present requirement applies only while people are actually eating or drinking.
  2. Requiring restaurant and bar operators to keep a customer log with a name and contact information along with the date, check in and check out times, and table number for 30 days. Right now, this is only a Toronto Public Health recommendation not a provincial requirement.
  3. Implementing additional capacity restrictions for food and drink establishments that limit occupancy to ensure that physical distancing can be easily maintained by all patrons. Right now, there is no cap provided distancing can be maintained.
  4. Implementing early closure times for food and drink establishments for at least an initial period of time, similar to what has been done in Quebec.
  5. Requiring establishments to implement COVID-19 screening protocols for staff, such as completion of a screening questionnaire, prior to the commencement of their shifts.
  6. Outlining clear mandatory face covering requirements for staff and patrons of bars and restaurants in the amended Stage 3 order.