Ontario patios are opening after the COVID-19 shutdown. Eat and drink but don’t dance or sing.

Ontario continues to take its COVID-19 mitigation protocols seriously as the province slowly reopens for business region by region. Starting Friday (June 19), a good chunk of the citizenry (except Toronto, Peel Region, and a few other areas), restaurant patios will be ready for customers. However, there are some new regulations.

According to the Ontario Government, the only restaurants that can reopen are those who serve takeout or have an outdoor space (read: a patio) that can be configured for physical distancing. And only eating or drinking will be allowed on that patio.

I quote: “No dancing or singing may be permitted in the outdoor dining area.” In other words, no live performances, no matter how small.

Why the rule? Again, I quote: “Loud music causes diners to lean towards each other and raise their voices or shout, thus increasing the risk of transmitting the virus.”

Then there’s this quote from Dr. Isaac Bogoch, who works with infectious diseases at Toronto General Hospital: “It’s kind of gross to think about, but every time we talk, we’re spitting into the world around us. And if we’re singing, shouting, or breathing heavily, we’re likely expelling more saliva and nasal secretions–and if someone’s infected, then those secretions will shed more virus.”

For the record, the Ontario government is also discouraging singing in church and daycare for the same reasons.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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