Toronto restaurant asks unvaccinated patrons to sit outdoors

TORONTO — A Toronto restaurant is requesting that unvaccinated patrons now choose to sit outdoors.

Oakwood Hardware Food & Drink, located at 337 Oakwood Avenue in York, made the announcement on their Instagram account, run by owner and chef Anne Sorrenti, Sunday.

“With the volatility of the weather and our limited capacity to have diners indoors, we ask respectfully that if you are not vaccinated, that you choose outdoor dining when available,” the restaurant’s statement reads.

Ownership is underlining that this is a recommendation and that they will be operating on the honour system.

“Notice that I said choose – this is on an honour system and we would hope that people would understand that the well-being of our staff and clientele combined with the precarious nature of lockdowns have us wary.” 

While the business specified that all of their employees are vaccinated, they said the decision is not meant to be a debate on vaccines.

“It is about the fact that since there is no provincially mandated “passport,” each business has to make up [their] own guidelines with regard to vaccinated [and] unvaccinated diners indoors,” the statement reads.

Recently, Premier Doug Ford emphasized his opposition​ to the idea of vaccine passports.

“The answer is no, we’re not gonna do it. We’re not gonna have a split society,” Ford told reporters on July 15.

However, the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table published a 21-page briefing last week with key findings on a potential vaccination certification program, recommending that they could be used on a short-term basis to help reopen high-risk settings, such as indoor dining, bars, gyms, cultural and sports events, sooner or at an increased capacity.

Meanwhile, Oakwood Hardware is acknowledging that their decision may lose them some customers.

“I do not set these parameters without full awareness that it may impact business adversely with some of you,” the statement reads.

“Be that as it may, we require masks indoors and in public spaces when not eating or drinking, contact tracing, and we expect that these minor asks will make us all a little safer.”

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