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Barrie city council extends patio hours as Ontario enters 1st stage of reopening

Click to play video: 'Ontarians race to fill patios, shop in-store as province enters phase 1 of reopening' Ontarians race to fill patios, shop in-store as province enters phase 1 of reopening
Ontario entered the first stage of its reopening plan at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Patios have reopened along with in-store shopping in non-essential stores with capacity limits. Groups up to ten people can also gather outdoors. Marianne Dimain reports – Jun 11, 2021

At a special meeting Thursday evening, Barrie city council voted to extend the city’s patio hours as Ontario enters the first stage of its COVID-19 reopening, which only allows outdoor — not indoor — dining.

The extended hours come into effect Friday and further allow patrons to enter or reenter a patio until 11:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and until 1:45 a.m. Friday, Saturday and July 1 (Canada Day).

Read more: COVID-19: Ontario residents celebrate reopening with patio visits, shopping trips

The extended hours also allow patrons to stay at city patios longer — people can now remain there until 12:15 a.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, and until 2:30 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and July 1 (Canada Day).

The extended patio hours will be in place until indoor dining is permitted under Ontario’s COVID-19 reopening framework.

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“As we start to cautiously reopen, patios are going to be part of our economic recovery,” Barrie Ward 2 councillor Keenan Aylwin said at Thursday’s meeting.

Read more: Ontario enters provincial COVID-19 reopening plan: Here’s what is allowed in Step 1

“It allows for people to support our small local businesses safely, and we know that our small local businesses desperately need the business right now. They’ve been through a tough year, and I think our residents as well are looking for that social connection, and this provides an opportunity for people to do that safely.”

Ontario began its first stage of reopening Friday more than two months after the provincial government imposed strict restrictions that were aimed at combating the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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