BARRIE, ONT. -- Linda and Mike Sloat decided to limit dining at their Collingwood restaurant to local customers only. This after the province shifted various regions into stricter COVID-19 zones to curb the spread of the virus.

"We're just trying to keep our family, three of us work here, and our customers safe," said Linda.

A sign posted on The Curly Willow Eatery's front door states that red zone residents, meaning anyone from Toronto and Peel Region, would not be able to enter and that proof of residency is required.

The Curly Willow Eatery sign

The Sloats said the support from the community has been overwhelming.

"So unexpected," Linda said. "We knew that our customers would support us, but these are total strangers. So it's very positive."

Simcoe Muskoka moved from the yellow zone to orange on Monday, which means more enhanced measures and restrictions but no closures. Meantime, Toronto and Peel Region shifted into the grey zone, a lockdown for four-weeks that bans indoor dining at restaurants.

The province made the move as infection rates continue to climb.

The Sloats said they hope those who are turned away will understand and stated the restaurant's restrictions would be lifted once the COVID-19 threat is lower.

And for those who have called the eatery's customer restrictions 'brave,' Linda said, "It had nothing to do with being brave. It had to do with safety."