Windsor restaurants with patio seating are opening up today as the province enters its first phase of reopening.
Around the city, outdoor patios are beginning to serve guests after months of being closed due to public health restrictions.
"It's about time that we start working again," said Toni Sciuderi, co-owner of Daniela Cafe.
Daniela Cafe, located in Little Italy, has been closed for several months, along with a number of other businesses. Sciuderi said it has been hard for her business because it has lost a lot of money. She and her daughter own the cafe which primarily sells traditional Italian food and pastries.
With the launch of the Euro cup, a number of restaurants will have screens outside to play the game between Italy and Turkey. Sciuderi said a screen will play the game on her patio Friday.
"We start stronger than before and better than before. That's what I hope for everybody, not just for me," said Sciuderi
Under the first phase of Ontario's reopening plan, outdoor seating at restaurants is allowed with up to four people per table. Indoor seating will not be permitted until the third phase of reopening.
Also allowed are outdoor gatherings of up to ten people and some non-essential shopping.
Hopeful for what's to come
Windsor residents appear to be in good spirits on the first day of reopening as well.
Sydney Chase, a home renovations expert, said the reopening gives him hope.
"It a beautiful morning, or midday and we're back in the outside," said Chase, adding that the pandemic has been difficult for his profession because he has not been able to work in residential homes.
"A lot of us are out of work," said Chase.
"I hope everybody does their due diligence and please wear your mask and get your shots," he said.
Penny Berthiaume, a Windsor resident, feels good about the reopening. While sitting on the patio of the Bull & Barrel Urban Saloon, she said is happy to be with people again.
"I want to be normal again," said Berthiaume.
Locally, COVID-19 cases have been on a downward trend, but medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed warned Friday that residents need to stay safe.
"We would like to keep it that way, and the only way we can keep it is if we follow still some of these [public health] guidelines," he said.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported 13 new cases on Friday as loosened restrictions took effect.