COVID-19

Ontario Enters Step Three of Reopening Plan on July 16, 2021

Ontario will enter Step 3 of its Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16, 2021. The Step Three restrictions are found in O. Reg. 364/20 (available here).

All services, which were open under Step Two, such as construction, remain open under Step Three. Furthermore, masking and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout Step Three.

General Capacity Limits

Unless otherwise provided, businesses must limit the number of members of the public in their facility to the number of persons that are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres.

Personal Care Services

Personal care services relating to the hair or body, including hair salons and barbershops, manicure and pedicure salons, aesthetician services, piercing services, tanning salons, spas and tattoo studios, may open if they comply with the following conditions:

  • Persons who provide personal care services in the business must wear appropriate personal protective equipment;
  • There must be signage posted in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the establishment’s capacity limits;
  • Oxygen bars must be closed;
  • Individuals must be actively screened in before entering the establishment;
  • No member of the public may be permitted to enter the premises except by appointment.
Restaurants, Bars and Pubs

Restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments may open provide indoor and outdoor dining subject to the following conditions:

  • The total number of patrons must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person at the establishment;
  • The establishment must be configured so that patrons seated at different tables are separated by a distance of at least two metres, or plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier;
  • There must be signage posted in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the establishment is permitted to operate;
  • The establishment must abide by screening requirements for any dine-in patrons;
  • The establishment must abide by information recording requirements for all dine-in patrons; and
  • No patron shall dance in the establishment.

In addition to the physical distancing, screening and information recording requirements above, food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided may open subject to the following conditions:

  • Indoor facilities must limit the number of members of the public in the facility to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from all other persons in the establishment and that number may not exceed 25 per cent;
  • Outdoor establishments must limit the total number of members of the public permitted in the establishment at any one time to 75 per cent capacity;
  • Patrons must wear face coverings while not seated with members of their own household;
  • There must be signage posted in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the establishment is permitted to operate;
Other Openings

Other notable easing of restrictions include:

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events are permitted with up to 100 people subject to limited exceptions;
  • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events are permitted with up to 25 people;
  • Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services are permitted with physical distancing;
  • Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities may open subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space;
  • Indoor meeting and event spaces are permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and capacity limited to 50 per cent or 1,000 people, whichever is less;
  • Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions and festivals are permitted to operate at 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors;
  • Concert venues, cinemas and theatres are permitted to operate subject to certain capacity restrictions; and
  • Real estate open houses are permitted with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distancing of two metres.

The Ontario Government has stated that the province will remain in Step Three for 21 days and until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have received their second.

The official Ontario Government press release can be found here.

We will continue to provide updates on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated Provincial and Federal responses. If you have any questions about this topic, other COVID-19 related questions, or would like assistance with developing and/or reviewing pandemic plans, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer, or refer to the firm’s COVID-19 website resources.

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