LONDON, ONT. -- London restaurateurs nervously watched the provincial announcement suspending indoor dining in COVID-19 hotspots, worried London could be next.

Ontario has moved Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel Region back to a modified Stage 2, closing indoor dining, gyms, and movie theatres.

"Another closure would result in most restaurants closing, closing down forever," warns Scot Crawford, owner of The Bungalow Neighbourhood Hub in Old North.

The Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) has announced double-digit COVID-19 cases for four consecutive days.

Friday’s 19 new cases equals numbers not seen since mid-April.

Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Alex Summers says start flattening the curve, or face renewed restrictions.”

"These trends, should they continue, will certainly be indicative of the need to do more with regards to the precautions that we put in place, such as what has been done in other parts of the province," Summers explains.

Local pubs and restaurants have taken advantage of relaxed patio rules to offset reduced indoor dining, but there is doubt about the financial viability of outdoor dining as temperatures plunge.

Restaurants Canada estimates the loss of indoor dining reduces sales by 80 per cent in full service restaurants, and 40 per cent at quick-serve restaurants.

"It’s critical," explains Crawford. "Restaurants operate on a very thin margin. We are nowhere near 100 per cent capacity. We are just losing less money than we’ll lose if we’re closed."

Crawford adds the indoor establishments that need to be closed in the coming weeks, are those not following pandemic rules.

"It’s the bad actors they need to go after, they are casting too wide of a net," he says.

Summers says the MLHU, city hall, and police continue their partnership enforcing pandemic rules. "We always start from a place of education, enforcement is always a tool available to us. We will use it when it is appropriate."