Ontario restaurant workers to be vaccinated in phase 2 – officials



Ontario officials confirmed that restaurant workers will in fact be included in Phase 2 of the province’s COVID-19 rollout, despite not being included a week earlier.

CTV News Toronto reached out to the Ministry of Health five days after the list was released to confirm whether or not restaurant workers would be included in Phase 2 of the rollout. After a week, a spokesperson for the ministry sent a statement that simply reiterated the list already presented by health officials.

When pressed again about whether that meant restaurant workers would not be included, CTV News Toronto received no response.

Restaurants Canada was also told by government officials interpreting the list that the industry would not be included in Phase 2 and that employees would be vaccinated according to their age category.

At the same time, James Rilett, VP of the group’s Central Canada division, told CTV News Toronto last week that there may be updated documents coming regarding eligibility for the vaccine.

“So it may change, but as of now restaurant employees are not covered in the Phase 2 rollout,” he said at the time. However, government officials appeared to confirm the opposite was true. Both the Ministry of Health and the Premier’s Office have confirmed to CTV News Toronto that restaurant workers will be part of Phase 2, as well as the province’s solicitor general. No explanation was provided for why this was not clear at the beginning of the month, nor have any official government documents or websites been updated to specify restaurant workers are included.

Speaking to CTV News Toronto  Rilett said that he has not heard that news in writing, saying that he has been getting messages from officials since last week saying that “it’s implied” that restaurant workers would be included as they cannot work from home.

“It’s saying it’s not excluded, some are saying it’s implied, but they also say they are currently working on guidance for public health,” Rilett said. “Until I see it in writing I won’t feel comfortable…no one has come out and put it in writing yet.”

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