London, Ont., restaurants race to be ready as province moves to next phase of reopening

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Some London, Ont., restaurants are finalizing plans now that they are permitted to offer outdoor dining to the public for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic was declared in mid-March.

As many prepare to reopen on June 12, others say they are unable to meet government requirements and will remain closed, for now.

On Monday, the province announced that as of Friday at 12:01 a.m., Ontarians will be allowed to gather in groups of 10 — up from the previous five; restaurants and bars will be able open for outdoor dining with limited capacity; and places of worship will be allowed to reopen with no more than 30 per cent capacity, and ensuring social distancing measures are in place to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Certain public health units — including the region covering the Middlesex-London Health Unit — will also see the reopening of services such as hairdressers and barbers, restaurant patios and more outdoor spaces.

“We are ready,” Joelle Lees, owner of Michael’s on the Thames, told Global News on Tuesday.

 » READ MORE FROM GLOBAL NEWS

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