Residents Reminded that “Safe Dining” Means “Household Members Only”

Written by Comms Team, March 2, 2021

Additional Public Health Measures Implemented for Peterborough Region to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19

Peterborough Public Health (PPH) is requiring residents to dine out only with household members in order to prevent further local spread of COVID-19, especially as the number of presumed variant cases rise.

“Dining out with only household members is essential in order for all individuals to comply with provincial legislation requiring all of us to maintain two metres distance from anyone we don’t live with,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “We urgently need residents to adhere to this requirement immediately and to be prepared to attest that they are following it when going out to local restaurants and bars.”

Dr. Salvaterra noted that PPH contact tracing has revealed non-household close-contacts related to local food establishments since dining areas were permitted to reopen on February 16. She added that close contact with non-household members presents the highest risk for COVID-19 transmission, especially when masks are not being worn. When dining in public spaces, it is not usually possible to maintain a minimum distance of two metres from others seated at your table. Now that Peterborough is trying to contain a large outbreak with a presumed variant of concern, maintaining physical distance has become even more important.

Peterborough Public Health has issued a formal Letter of Instruction to all food premises with dining areas to help further protect the community and slow the spread of COVID-19. These instructions were designed to minimize local risk, align with the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020, and require all local food premises operators to obtain verbal attestation that a patron wishing to be seated at the same table with others in a public dining area:

  • is from the same household, or
  • is a caregiver, or
  • lives alone and is joining one other household

These instructions were distributed to local food premises on Monday, March 1 and take effect Friday, March 5. Dr. Salvaterra explained that diners will be expected to complete an attestation form confirming they are only seated with household members and not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. Diners who misrepresent themselves on the attestation form may be subject to fines under the Reopening Ontario Act.

In addition to these PPH instructions, provincial legislation already requires individuals in a place of business or facility that is open to the public to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person, except from their caregiver or from members of the person’s household.

“I would also like to remind local residents that the earlier concept of social circles doesn’t apply anymore. This was paused by the Ontario government on October 2,” explained Dr. Salvaterra. “Please show support for our local food premises by ordering takeout, or dining with household contacts only.”

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391