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Total number of cases in Canada stands at 407; Ontario asks bars, restaurants to close


Trudeau closes Canadian borders to most foreign travellers amid coronavirus outbreak

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that Canada will be closing its borders to most foreign travellers in an attempt to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Speaking to reporters from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Trudeau said Canada is taking “increasingly aggressive steps” and will be closing its borders to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

“I know that these measures are far-reaching,” Trudeau said. “They are exceptional circumstances calling for exceptional measures.”

COVID-19 in Canada: What's closed due to coronavirus concerns

TORONTO -- Canada’s biggest gym chain has closed all its locations across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goodlife Fitness and Fit4Less Clubs chief executive David Patchell-Evans made the announcement late Sunday night.

YMCA Canada, which also runs health clubs across the country, said “decisions regarding the status of programs and services will be made by local YMCA Member Associations.” 

The YMCA of Greater Toronto has decided to close all its centres until April 5, with the YMCAs of Quebec closing theirs until March 29.

Meanwhile, other recreation options are disappearing as businesses across the globe respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bars and restaurants

While many bars and restaurants remain open, some are limiting their capacity and spacing customers further apart as part of the social-distancing advice issued by health authorities.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said his city is not telling restaurants and bars to close or limit their capacity at this time.

In Quebec, Premier François Legault has asked restaurants to limit their capacity to 50 per cent, in order to create more space between customers.

Meanwhile, food delivery service SkipTheDishes has suspended cash payments as a precaution to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Customers also have the option of requesting contactless delivery orders, the food-delivery service told CTV News in a statement. Restaurant partners have been advised to seal all takeout bags to limit exposure and unnecessary contact.

Coffee giant Starbucks is moving to a take-out model at its stores in Canada for at least two weeks, over concern about the new coronavirus. 

Tim Hortons parent company Restaurant Brands International Inc. has asked its Canadian restaurant owners to provide take-out, drive-thru and delivery only.

The company said Monday it is closing all “dining room” seating at Tim Hortons effective Tuesday and will continue the closures until further notice.


Canada’s largest movie chain Cineplex announced last week that it is using “enhanced cleaning protocols” in all its buildings and has halved its capacity in all its “1,693 theatre auditoriums across Canada to allow for social-distancing.”

The second biggest cinema operator Landmark has also decreased capacity by 50 per cent and increased the frequency of its cleaning in common areas. 

Visitor and cultural attractions

Cultural institutions across the country are shutting their doors and calling off events because of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving some concerned for the health of Canada's arts scene, The Canadian Press reports.

The National Museums of Canada said its public institutions will be closed Saturday until further notice.

A raft of visitor attractions in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario have been shut out of concern for COVID-19.

City of Ottawa recreation and cultural facilities are now closed for the next three weeks.


A number of retail business have decided to close their stores in a bid to protect staff and customers from COVID-19.

Similarly Nike has closed its stores in Canada until March 27.

And phone giant Apple has closed all its stores outside China until March 27.


B.C. reported 3 more deaths at long-term care home, bringing national toll to 4

Canada to bar entry to travellers who are not citizens, permanent residents or Americans

'No gatherings of over 50' among new recommendations announced by officials to curb spread of COVID-19


Tim Hortons to offer take-out, drive-thru only amid coronavirus pandemic

Restaurant Brands International Inc. says it is asking Canadian Tim Hortons restaurant owners to provide take-out, drive-thru and delivery only in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The company says it is closing all dining room seating effective Tuesday.



McDonald's to shut seating, play areas due to COVID-19

In the latest nod to how the coronavirus is disrupting Americans' daily rituals and patterns, McDonald's said Monday that it is closing all seating and play areas in its company-owned U.S. restaurants after close of business today. 


Tim Hortons, McDonald’s Canada stop accepting reusable cups amid coronavirus

TORONTO – Tim Hortons and McDonald’s Canada are the latest coffee purveyors to stop accepting reusable mugs brought in by customers amid concerns about the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and plan to reintroduce the policy at a later time,” wrote McDonald’s Canada spokeswoman Veronica Bart in an email.

Tim Hortons said in a statement on Mar. 6 that it has made the change after listening to its restaurant owners and comments from its customers, even though health officials have not recommended any changes to its current procedures.

The temporary move follows similar decisions by Starbucks and The Second Cup Ltd. announced last week.

Meanwhile, larger chains like Tim Hortons and Starbucks are taking away dine-in seating.

Tim Hortons said Monday, "Starting on March 17, restaurants will focus on take-out, drive-thru and delivery service (where available) and will close all dining room seating until further notice."

On Sunday, Starbucks said it would be moving to a "to go" model in all of its stores across the U.S. and Canada for at least two weeks.