Bars and Restaurants


Last updated: March 31, 2020. Please check back for updates.

Do restaurants and bars have to close?

On March 17, 2020, the province of Ontario enacted a declaration of emergency. For all bars and restaurants, this means they are legally required to close effective immediately, except for facilities that will only provide take-out food and delivery (under s. 7.0.1 the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act).

Who can offer take-out/delivery?  

Restaurants offering take-out and delivery only, can continue to operate. The intention is for customers to order, pick-up, and leave the premises. This means:

  • customers cannot eat their food in the restaurant;
  • no seating area is provided for customers who are waiting for their food

For restaurants that do not normally operate as take-outs, but have the ability to prepare food for take-out, this option can be offered once the premises has been inspected by a Public Health Inspector. Call the Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5400 to learn more. 

Can customers enter food premises?

Yes. Only to pay and collect their order. We recommend that orders be called in and, if ordering in person, they place the order and wait outside the premises. This means:

  • customers cannot eat their food in the restaurant;
  • no seating area  is provided for customers who are waiting for their food

Are we allowed more than one customers in the food premises at a time while picking up orders?

Yes, but customers should practice physical distancing.

What about dining areas in malls?

Only take-out and delivery options to be available; no sit-in. 

Can reusable containers be used?

No. Only single-use, food grade containers can be used, as supplied by the food premises. This includes no reusable coffee cups.

Our restaurant does not currently offer take-out/delivery but we would like to during the closures.  What do we need to do?

If your restaurant would like to start offering take-out/delivery, but has not previously done so, you will need to contact the Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5400 for an inspection by a Public Health Inspector to ensure compliance with take-out requirements. Note, only food grade, single use, disposable containers are permitted (e.g., no reusable coffee cups).

If my restaurant is already inspected, why do I need another inspection to start providing take-out/delivery?

This is to ensure compliance with all take-out requirements with regards to food grade, single-use disposable containers and how food is served to customers.

If my restaurant would like to start offering take-out/delivery services, how do we request an inspection?

To make a request, please call the Health Unit’s Environmental Health intake line at 1800-563-2808 x. 5400. At this time, we are facing a higher call volume and will respond to your voicemail as quickly as possible (within 24 hours on weekdays).

Once I request an inspection from the Health Unit, how long will it take to get approval to start take-out/delivery of food?

The Health Unit is committed to supporting our businesses and will provide an inspection within 24 -48 hours on weekdays.

Will there be any remuneration for these mandated closures?

We have no information at this time regarding remuneration for business owners and staff. 

For more information please see the COVID-19 Guidance for Food Premises Best Practices Summary Sheet

North Bay

345 Oak Street West

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)