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Toronto health officer closes 3 restaurants as result of COVID contact tracing

Toronto’s top public health official has ordered the closure of three restaurants along a stretch of King Street West in the city’s downtown.

Dr. Eileen de Villa issued the order late Friday after contact-tracing data showed people with COVID-19 were employed at more than one of these restaurants.

In addition, Toronto Public Health says one of the restaurants has served food buffet style, which is prohibited under provincial regulations because of the pandemic. 

The department identified the three closed restaurants as MARBL, Casa Mezcal and King Taps, which are all within 10 city blocks of each other.

The health unit says it’s in the process of ordering the closure of a fourth establishment, but didn’t provide details.

The closures come after the Ford government announced bars and restaurants across Ontario must now shut down by midnight and stop serving alcohol by 11 p.m. in response to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

A 10 p.m. curfew in bars and restaurants ordered by the British government this week was followed by protests by thousands of people Saturday in London’s Trafalgar Square. 

In July, when Toronto was still in Stage 2 of reopening, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced an investigation into MARBL after a video emerged on social media showing dozens of patrons crammed into a semi-indoor space.

The video, which also showed staff failing to wear masks, prompted outrage online.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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