Three restaurants in Toronto ordered to close after allegedly breaking COVID-19 restrictions, city says

TORONTO — Health officials in Toronto are cracking down on a handful of bars and restaurants that appear to have broken the city’s public health restrictions aimed at combatting COVID-19.

In a news release issued Saturday morning, the city says the three restaurants on King Street had “not taken the necessary steps to sufficiently protect both the public and employees from the spread of COVID-19.”

“Toronto Public Health (TPH) found a concerning link involving these locations where many people are connected to more than one of the businesses noted,” the city said. “In some cases, for example, people infected with COVID-19 were employed at more than one of these locations.”

According to Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, investigators with the city also became aware of concerns regarding staff being pressured to work while ill and found that operators of some of the businesses were “frequently uncooperative” with officials.

“In another instance, one of the businesses served food buffet style, which is clearly prohibited under existing provincial regulations to limit the spread of COVID-19,” she said while speaking to reporters on Friday.

The affected restaurants are located within walking distance of each other on King Street in downtown Toronto and have been identified as MARBL, King Taps and Casa Mezcal.

A fourth establishment is in the process of being served with a notice, but has not yet been identified by the city.

TPH said that the order will be lifted when Dr. de Villa is satisfied that each establishment has complied.

With files from Katherine DeClerq.

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