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COVID-19: Orillia, Ont., to implement patio program for 2nd year

This year's program will allow for a downtown street closure on Friday evenings, from July 2 to Sept. 3. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Orillia, Ont., will implement its patio program that streamlines application processes for new and temporary patios in the city as the province continues to battle the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s program will allow for a downtown street closure on Friday evenings, from July 2 to Sept. 3.

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“Orillia has more than a dozen restaurants that have already opened their permanent patios thanks to the warm weather we’ve had over the past two weeks,” Orillia Coun. Ted Emond, who’s also Orillia’s economic recovery taskforce chair, said in a statement.

“The See You on the Patio program allows restaurants that don’t have a permanent patio to set up a seasonal space for outdoor dining and allows local residents another option to safely gather outside with friends and family.”

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Businesses and retailers participating in Orillia’s patio program are responsible for adhering to all the COVID-19 safety protocols that are in place.

City officials also say they will adjust the program, if necessary, based on potential changes to the public health guidelines.

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While some permanent patios are already open, approved temporary patios will only be allowed as of April 1.

“Last year, we heard from several businesses that the See You on the Patio program helped them survive the impacts of COVID-19,” Orillia’s senior business development manager, Laura Thompson, said in a statement.

“We want to ensure that this year’s program supports businesses throughout the entire city while maintaining a fun and safe atmosphere for all.”

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Applications are now available for seasonal patios through the launch of this year’s patio program.

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