PICK A SIDE: Should restaurants be allowed to reopen patios on June 2?


Published May 20, 2021 at 6:59 pm


With the warmer weather now upon us, many are yearning for restaurants to reopen patios.

While many health experts have suggested outdoor activities are mostly safe due to a significantly reduced risk of transmitting COVID-19, patios remain closed… at least until mid-June (at the earliest).

Those in favour believe patios provide a lifeline for restaurants, which have been struggling for months. Ontario has been in a province-wide lockdown that prohibits in-person dining for a month and certain regions, including Toronto and Peel, have been in lockdown for more than six months.

Additionally, reopening patios would provide an influx of jobs, as restaurants would need to hire additional kitchen and wait staff to accommodate an increase in customers.

According to a recent report from Restaurants Canada, more than 400,000 foodservice jobs have been lost due to the pandemic, and 70 per cent of all jobs lost are in the foodservice industry.

Further, those in favour believe opening patios would allow people some much-needed time outside of their house, which would provide an overall morale boost for Ontarians.

However, those opposed believe opening patios could entice people who are from separate households to get together, which could increase the risk of exposure to the virus.

Some who are against reopening patios believe they could present a gathering hub, where people from different households can meet after other activities or events, which could increase the risk of further spreading the virus.

Moreover, some who are against it have suggested it could result in people letting their guards down, and not taking other restrictions as seriously, which could result in a spike in cases.

So, readers, what do you think?

Should restaurants be allowed to reopen patios?

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