COVID-19

Ontario Updates COVID-19 Response Framework with Revised Measures and Restrictions

The Government of Ontario has further updated its COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open (“Framework”). These updates modify the restrictions on businesses and organizations due to increased COVID-19 infections in Ontario.  For ease of reference, we have incorporated these updates in this article.

The framework takes a preventative approach to help avoid broader lockdowns and allow for public health and workplace safety measures to be introduced or removed in stages.

The framework introduces five levels, classifying public health unit regions based on epidemiological trends and the capacity of the health system and public health system in each region. Regions are moved up or down the scale based on the trend of COVID-19 cases in each region. Each level sets out specific public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations, and range from standard measures to maximum measures. The framework includes general public health measures for gatherings, workplace requirements, and face coverings for each level, as well as sector-specific guidelines for the following sectors:

  • Restaurants, bars and food or drink establishments
  • Sports and recreational fitness
  • Meeting and event spaces
  • Retail
  • Personal care services
  • Casinos, Bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Cinemas
  • Performing arts facilities

The current classifications have been approved by the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Cabinet, but will be updated based on trends in public health data on a weekly basis. Importantly, local medical officers of health may add their own regional restrictions or requirements to exceed these provincial requirements. Further, these levels do not replace the “Stages” which have been implemented under the current legislation – rather, the green, yellow, and orange levels are included under “Stage 3” of reopening, while the red level falls under “Stage 2” of reopening and the lockdown level falling under “Stage 1” areas.

All public health unit regions have now been moved to this framework of measures. Notably, Toronto and Peel Health Regions will move to the Lockdown classification as of November 23, 2020 at 12:01 am.

Employers and business owners will wish to consult the sources below regularly to determine applicable measures to take for their employees, visitors, contractors and others, and how these may potentially change, week to week. 

The framework will lower the threshold for each of the five levels of: weekly incidence rates, positivity rate, effective reproductive number (Rt), outbreak trends and level of community transmission. The  framework still categorizes public health unit regions into five levels Green-Prevent (the goal is to have every public health unit region at this level), Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown being a measure of last and urgent resort.

General Public Health Measures

These measures apply to all sectors and all levels:

Public Health Advice, Recommendations and Instructions:

  • Businesses or organizations must operate in compliance with advice, recommendations, and instructions of public health officials, including any advice, recommendations or instructions on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting. Check with your local public health unit for additional advice, recommendations or instructions

Screening

  • Businesses or organizations must operate in compliance with the advice, recommendations instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening individuals. This includes:
    • Workplaces must screen any workers or essential visitors entering the work environment. See the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces for more information
    • Some businesses or organizations must screen patrons.

Personal Protective Equipment including Eye Protection

  • Personal protective equipment that provides protection of the eyes, nose, and mouth, is required if a worker is required to come within 2 metres of another person who is not wearing a face covering.

Capacity Limits

  • All businesses or facilities must limit capacity so that every member of the public is able to maintain two metres of physical distancing from every other person. Some businesses or facilities have additional capacity restrictions. Where additional capacity restrictions are in place, it is noted in subsequent slides.

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Businesses or places that are open shall ensure that equipment, washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers that are accessible to the public are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.

Face Coverings

  • Face coverings are required to be worn by members of the public and workers in indoor public places and workplaces, with limited exceptions.

Safety Plans

  • Safety plan required in higher risk settings.
  • ***Requirement for all businesses/organizations open in Lockdown to have a COVID-19 workplace safety plan

Green-Prevent (Standard Measures)

Focus is on education and public awareness of health and workplace safety measures. Absent a widely available vaccine or treatment, the Green-Prevent category reflects the broadest allowance of activities in Stage 3. Highest risk settings remain closed.

The following are the sector specific-guidelines for the Green-Prevent Zone:

Gathering limit for certain organized public events, social gatherings, and religious services, rites and Ceremonies

  • Limits for certain organized public events and social gatherings where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 10 people indoors
    • 25 people outdoors
  • Limits for organized public events and social gatherings where physical distancing can be maintained (this includes events and gatherings in staffed businesses and facilities):
    • 50 people indoors
    • 100 people outdoors
  • Limits for weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies, where physical distancing can be maintained”
    • 30% capacity of the room indoors
    • 100 people outdoors

Schools, Childcare and Post-Secondary Institutions

  • Schools and child care centres
    • Open for all zones including Regions in Lockdown
  • Post-secondary institutions
    • Open for Green, Yellow, Orange and Red Zones
    • Lockdown Regions – open for virtual instruction, with exemptions where in-person instruction is required (e.g. clinical training, trades)

Restaurants, Bars, and Food or Drink Establishments

  • Require patrons to be seated; 2m minimum between tables
  • Dancing, singing and performing music is permitted, with restrictions
  • Karaoke permitted, with restrictions (including no private rooms)
  • Require patron contact info (one per group)
  • No buffet style service
  • Night clubs only permitted to operate as restaurant or bar
  • Line-ups/patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2m distance and face covering required
  • Face coverings except when eating or drinking only
  • Eye protection where patrons without face coverings are within two metres of workers

Sports and Recreational Fitness

  • Maintain 2m physical distancing unless engaged in a sport
  • 50 people indoors (classes)
  • 100 people outdoors (classes)
  • 50 people indoors (area with weights or exercise equipment)
  • Spectators allowed (50 indoors and 100 outdoors)
  • Limit of 50 people per room basis if operating in compliance with a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Guidance for Facilities for Sport and Recreational Activities)
  • Team or individual sports must be modified to avoid physical contact; 50 people per league
  • Exemption for high performance athletes and parasports
  • Limit volume of music to conversation level and prevent shouting by both instructors and members of the public
  • Face coverings required except when exercising

Meeting and Event Spaces

  • 50 people indoors
  • 100 people outdoors (exception for court/government services, weddings, funerals)
  • Booking multiple rooms for the same event not permitted
  • 50 indoors per room, where physical distancing can be maintained if venue operates in accordance with the approved plan from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Guidance for Meeting and Event Facilities During COVID-19)

Retail

  • Fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls
  • Line-ups/patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2m distance and face covering required
  • Guidance for mall operators and retail stores

Personal Care Services

  • Oxygen bars, steam rooms, and saunas closed

Casinos, Bingo Halls and Gaming Establishments

  • Capacity cannot exceed 50 persons
  • Table games are prohibited
  • Casinos, bingo halls, and gaming establishments operate in accordance with a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

Cinemas

  • In facility/area
    • 50 indoors
    • 100 outdoors
  • OR
    • 50 indoor per auditorium if cinema operates in accordance with the approved plan from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
    • Face coverings except when eating or drinking only
    • Drive-in cinemas permitted to operate, subject to restrictions

Performing Arts Facilities

  • 50 spectators indoors and 100 spectators outdoors with 2m physical distance maintained
  • Singers and players of wind or brass instruments must be separated from spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier
  • Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event permitted
  • Performers and employees must maintain 2m physical distance except for purposes of the performance
  • Drive-in performances permitted


Yellow-Protect (Strengthened Measures)

Public Health measures are applied in high risk settings. The focus is on enhanced targeted enforcement, fines and enhanced education to limit further transmission.

The following are the sector specific-guidelines for the Yellow-Protect Zone:

Organized Public Events, Social Gatherings, and Religious Services, Rites and Ceremonies

  • Same as previous level

Restaurants, Bars and Food or Drink Establishments

  • Measures from previous level, AND
    • 50 person indoor capacity limit
    • Establishments must be closed from 12 a.m to 5 a.m.
    • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • No consumption of liquor between 12 p.m. and 9 a.m.
    • Require contact information for all seated patrons
    • Limit of 6 people may be seated together
    • Limit volume of music (e.g., to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
    • Safety plan available upon request

Sports and Recreational Fitness

  • Measures from previous level, AND
    • Increase spacing between patrons to 3m for areas of a sport or recreational facility where there are weights/weight machines and exercise/fitness classes
    • Recreational programs limited to 10 people per room indoors and 25 outdoors
    • Require contact information for all patrons and attendance for team sports
    • Require reservation for entry; one reservation for teams
    • Safety plan is required to be prepared and made available on request

Meeting and Event Spaces

  • Measures from previous level, AND
    • Establishments must be closed from 12 a.m to 5 a.m.
    • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • No consumption of liquor between 12 p.m. and 9 a.m
    • Require contact information for all seated patrons
    • Limit of 6 people may be seated together
    • Limit volume of music (e.g., to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
    • Safety plan is required and made available upon request

Retail

  • Measures from previous level, AND
    • Limit volume of music to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation
    • Shopping malls: Safety plan is to be prepared and made available upon request

Personal Care Services

  • Measures from previous level, AND
    • Require contact information from all patrons
    • Safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Casinos, Bingo Halls and Gaming Establishments

  • Measures from previous level, AND
    • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • No consumption of liquor permitted between 12 a.m. to 9 a.m.
    • Require contact information from all patrons
    • Safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Cinemas

  • Measures from previous level, AND
    • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • No consumption of liquor permitted between 12 a.m. to 9 a.m.
    • Require contact information from all patrons
    • Safety plan available upon request

Performing Arts Facilities

  • Measures from previous level, AND
    • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • No consumption of liquor permitted between 12 a.m. to 9 a.m.
    • Require contact information from all patrons
    • Safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request


Orange-Restrict (Intermediate Measures)

Focus is on implementing enhanced measures, restrictions and enforcement avoiding any closures.

The following are the sector specific-guidelines for the Orange-Restrict Zone:

Organized Public Events, Social Gatherings, and Religious Services, Rites and Ceremonies

  • Same as previous level

Restaurants, Bars and Food or Drink Establishments

  • Measures for previous levels, AND
    • 50 person indoor capacity limit
    • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m to 5 a.m.
    • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • No consumption of liquor between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.
    • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
    • Limit of 4 people may be seated together
    • Strip clubs closed or permitted to operate as a restaurant or bar

Sports and Recreational Fitness

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • Maximum 50 people total in areas with weights and exercise machines and all classes  (revoke OCMOH approved plan)
    • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
    • Patrons may only be in the facility for 90 minutes except if engaged in a sport
    • No spectators permitted (exemption for parent/guardian supervision of children)

Meeting and Event Spaces

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • Maximum of 50 people per facility (revoke capacity limit on a per room basis as per OCMOH plan)
    • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m to 5 a.m.
    • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • No consumption of liquor between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.
    • Limit of 4 people may be seated together
    • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

Retail

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
    • NEW – requirement to maintain 2m while standing in line and flow management

Personal Care Services

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • Services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited
    • Bath houses, other adult venues, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods closed (some exceptions)
    • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

Casinos, Bingo Halls and Gaming Establishments

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • No consumption of liquor between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.
    • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

Cinemas

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • 50 per facility (revoke OCMOH approved plan)
    • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • No consumption of liquor between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.
    • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

Performing Arts Facilities

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • No consumption of liquor between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.
    • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health


Red-Control (Stringent Measures)

Public Health measures are applied in high risk settings. The focus is on broader-scale measures and restrictions, across multiple sectors to control and limit transmission. Restrictions at this stage are the most severe before wide-scale business or organizational closure.

The following are the sector specific-guidelines for the Red-Control Zone:

Organized Public Events, Social Gatherings, and Religious Services, Rites and Ceremonies

  • Limits for all organized public events and social gatherings where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • NEW 5 people indoors
    • 25 people outdoors
  • Limits for weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies
    • Same as previous level

Restaurants, Bars and Food or Drink Establishments

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • Maximum number of patrons permitted to be seated indoors is 10
    • Outdoor dining, take out, drive through, and delivery permitted including the sale of alcohol
    • Dancing, singing and the live performance of brass or wind instruments are prohibited

Sports and Recreational Facilities

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • Gyms and fitness studios permitted to be open:
      • 10 people indoors (classes)
      • 25 people outdoors (classes)
      • 10 people indoors (areas with weights or exercise equipment)
  • Team sports must not be practiced or played except for training (no games or scrimmage).
  • Activities that are likely to result in individuals coming within 2m of each other are not permitted

Meeting and Event Spaces

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • 10 people per facility indoors
    • 25 people outdoors

Retail

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • Maximum number of patrons permitted to be seated indoors in mall food court is 10
  • NEW – requirement to maintain 2m while standing in line

Personal Care Services

  • Measures from previous levels.

Casinos, Bingo Halls and Gaming Establishments

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • 10 people per facility indoors
    • 25 people outdoors

Cinemas

  • Closed, except for:
    • Drive-in cinemas
    • Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event remains permitted
    • Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or other impermeable barrier

Performing Arts Facilities

  • Measures from previous levels, AND
    • Closed to spectators
    • Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event remains permitted
    • Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or other impermeable barrier


Lockdown (Maximum Measures)

  • Trends continue to worsen after measures from Control level are implemented
  • Implement wide-scale measures and restrictions, including closures to halt or interrupt transmission (Return to modified Stage 1 or pre-Stage 1).
  • Consider declaration of emergency

Gathering limit for certain organized public events, social gatherings, and religious services, rites and Ceremonies

  • No indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household
  • Limit for outdoor organized public events and social gatherings, physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 10 people outdoors
  • Virtual and drive-in gatherings and events permitted
  • Weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies where physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 10 people indoors
    • 10 people outdoors
  • Virtual and drive-in services, rites or ceremonies permitted

Gathering limit for schools, childcare and post-secondary institutions

  • Post-secondary institutions
    • Open for virtual instruction, with exemptions where in-person instruction is required (e.g. clinical training, trades)

Measures for Restaurants, Bars and Food or Drink Establishments

  • Indoor and outdoor service prohibited
  • Take out, drive through, and delivery permitted, including the sale of alcohol

Measures for Sports and Recreational Fitness

  • Measures from previous levels and;
    • Closure of all indoor facilities, including indoor courts, pools and rinks
    • Community centres and multi-purpose facilities (e.g., YMCA) allowed to be open for permitted activities such as child care services
    • Indoor individual and team sports (including training) not permitted with exemptions for high performance, including parasport athletes, and professional leagues (e.g., NHL, CFL, MLS, NBA)
    • Outdoor sports, classes, and use of amenities, limited to 10 people

Measures for Meeting and Event Spaces

  • Closed with limited exceptions for
    • Court services
    • Government services
    • Mental health andaddictions support services (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous) permitted to a maximum of 10 people

Measures for Retail

  • Retail permitted to be open for curbside pick-up or delivery only (in-person retail shopping not permitted) with some exceptions:
    • supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, hardware stores, discount and department store-type retailers, beer and wine and liquor stores, pharmacies and safety supply stores permitted to be open for in-person shopping
    • 50% capacity limits in retail outlets permitted to open for in-person shopping
  • Motor vehicle sales permitted to be open in-person shopping by appointment only and other safety restrictions
  • Garden centres, plant nurseries; indoor by appointment. Permitted if public remains outdoors or by curbside pick-up or delivery
  • Outdoor markets permitted
  • Retail outlets in malls permitted to be open for curbside pick-up or delivery only (in-person retail shopping not permitted); full access to businesses and organizations permitted to be open (e.g., pharmacy, dentist); food court open for take-away
  • Requirement to maintain 2m while standing in line

Measures for Personal Care Services

  • Closed

Measures for Casinos, Bingo Halls and Gaming Establishments

  • Closed

Measures for Cinemas

  • Same as previous level

Performing Arts Facilities

  • Same as previous level

Public Health Advice

  • Advice from Previous Levels and:
    • Trips outside of the home should only be for essential reasons (work, school, groceries/pharmacy, health care, assisting vulnerable individuals, or exercise and physical activity
    • Families should not visit any otherhousehold or allow visitors in their homes
    • Everyone should avoid social gatherings
    • Work remotely, where possible

All Other Sectors (Proposed Lockdown under Keeping Ontario Safe and Open)

  • Amusement parks, water parks – Closed
  • Bathhouses and sex clubs – Closed
  • Boarding kennels and stables – Permitted to open for animal’s owner to visit the animal, assist in the care or feeing of the animal or, as applicable, ride the animal
  • Campgrounds – Existing bookings as of November 22, 2020 honoured regardless of when camping occurs; no new bookings after November 22, 2020 permitted except for individuals who are in need of housing
    • washrooms/showers permitted to be open
  • Cannabis – Permitted by curb-side pick-up
  • Driving instruction – in-person driving instruction not permitted; virtual permitted
  • Film and Television production – permitted with restrictions in Red (Control); post-production permitted
  • Household services: Permitted
    • domestic services such as housekeepers, cooks, maids, butlers, personal affairs management, nanny services, babysitters, other domestic personnel
    • cleaning and maintenance services such as house cleaning, indoor/outdoor painting, cleaning, pool cleaning, general repairs
  • Horse racing – Training only, no races; no spectators
  • Hotels, motels – Permitted to operate except for any pools, fitness centres, meeting rooms and other recreational facilities that may be part of the operations of these businesses
  • Libraries – Open for contactless curbside, delivery, and pick-up • Patrons permitted to enter libraries for contactless drop-off and pick-up, and to access computers, photocopiers, or similar services. • May open for permitted services (e.g., child care services, AA meetings) • No classes
  • Marinas and boating clubs –
    • Marinas and boating clubs 
      • Permitted to operate for fuel supply, watercraft repair and servicing, watercraft docking, and watercraft launching services for essential purposes •
      • Clubhouses, restaurants, pools, meeting rooms, fitness centres or other recreational facilities on the premises closed to the public, with limited exceptions
    • Golf courses and driving ranges: Outdoors permitted, indoors closed; Indoor shooting ranges closed
  • Motorsports – Closed
  • Museums and other cultural amenities (e.g., art galleries, science centres) – Closed
  • Night clubs – Only permitted to open if they operate as a restaurant, bar or other food and drink establishment (take-out, drive-through and delivery service only)
  • Personal service – in person personal services not permitted
    • including personal shoppers, party and wedding planners, personal organizer services, physical fitness or sports trainers and house sitters
  • Photography studios and services – closed
  • Real estate agencies – permitted to open; open houses permitted by appointment only
  • Short-term rentals –
    • Existing bookings as of November 22, 2020 honoured regardless of when the rental occurs.
    • No new bookings after November 22, 2020 permitted, except for individuals who are in need of housing.
  • Strip clubs – Only permitted to open if they operate as a restaurant, bar or other food and drink establishment (take-out, drive-through and delivery service only)
  • Tour and guide services – Closed
  • Veterinary services – Permitted
  • Zoos and aquariums – Closed to the public. Permitted to operate for the care of animals

Maximum Measures: Lockdown

General Public Health Measures

  • Stage 1 / Pre-Stage 1

Restaurants, Bars and Food or Drink Establishments

  • Stage 1 / Pre-Stage 1

Sports and Recreational Fitness

  • Stage 1 / Pre-Stage 1

Meeting and Event Spaces

  • Stage 1 / Pre-Stage 1

Retail

  • Stage 1 / Pre-Stage 1

Personal Care Services

  • Stage 1 / Pre-Stage 1

Casinos, Bingo Halls and Gaming Establishments

  • Stage 1 / Pre-Stage 1

Cinemas

  • Stage 1 / Pre-Stage 1

Performing Arts Facilities

  • Stage 1 / Pre-Stage 1
  • Public health units have been advised to follow these measures set out above. As of November 20, 2020, the Province has also filed four regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19 Act) to support the implementation of these measures, and which have now been added to the legislation and accompanying regulations. A copy of these regulations can be found here:

Lockdown:

  • Toronto Public Health
  • Peel Regional Health Unit

Red-Control:

  • Hamilton Public Health Services
  • Halton Region Public Health
  • York Region Public Health
  • Durham Region Health Department
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services

Orange-Restrict:

  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Niagara Region Public Health
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
  • Ottawa Public Health

Yellow-Protect:

  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Grey Bruce Health unit
  • Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit

Green-Prevent:

  • Algoma Public Health
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Grey Bruce Health unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ride District Health Unit
  • Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health
  • Lambton Public Health
  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit

A full detailed list of every Public Health Unit Region classification can be found here.

City of Toronto and Region of Peel

The City of Toronto and the Region of Peel has adopted enhanced public health measures in addition to being moved to Red Control level.  With the movement of the City of Toronto and the Region of Peel to the Lockdown level, some of these enhanced public health measures may be superseded. 

Notwithstanding this, we have provided below a summary of the enhanced measures which have been in effect since November 23, 220.

  • Closing all outdoor dining and patios. Take-out, drive-thru and delivery options remain available and are strongly encouraged to support local businesses
  • Closing malls, except for essential businesses
  • Closing all non-essential retail, except for curbside pick-up; large retailers with a grocery section can remain open at 50 per cent capacity
  • Limiting capacity of big box and essential businesses to 50 per cent capacity
  • Closing all indoor gyms and recreational programs, with some City-operated community centres open for community supports, such as food banks
  • Closing all hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and tattoo parlours

The above restrictions are on top of the already existing restrictions imposed by Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health on November 14, 2020:

  • Limit all social gatherings to household members only and/or 1 or 2 essential supports[1].
  • Restrict close contacts to household
  • Eliminate visiting private homes, unless for emergency reasons, one-on-one teaching (e.g., tutoring), emergency repairs, renovations or construction;
  • Limit in-person activities outside the home to essential activities only;
  • Cancel or hold virtually all in-person activities that are discretionary.

Workplaces

  • Require a compliance officer to ensure implementation of occupational health and safety and infection prevention & control measures.
  • Instruct businesses and/or facilities to review HVAC systems to ensure they are in good working order.
  • Promote work from home wherever possible.

Restaurants, Bars and Food or Drink Establishments

  • Indoor dining closed (S. 22 under HPPA)

Gyms and Fitness Studios

  • Indoor group fitness classes closed (S. 22 under HPPA)

Meeting and Event Spaces

  • Meeting and event spaces closed (S. 22 under HPPA)

Malls

  • Prohibit consumption of food or drink while walking through malls

Casinos, Bingo Halls and Other Gaming Establishments

  • New appropriate Infection Prevention and Control measures in place.

Residents of Toronto are strongly encouraged to stay home, except for essential travel, such as groceries and other necessities, like medicine; healthcare appointments; exercise; school; child care; and going to work.

  • Having family or friends who are not members of your household in your home for a social visit is prohibited under provincial orders. Essential support workers and emergency repairpersons are exempt. Outdoor organized public events or social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people. Non-essential travel outside of one’s own community is strongly discouraged.
  • City of Toronto parks are open, and residents are encouraged to use them for exercise, including walking, but to do so only with those they live with.

A copy of the enhanced public health measures for the City of Toronto can be found here:

For the Region of Peel, the enhanced public health measures include the following.  Again, we note that the restrictions imposed by the Lockdown level may supersede the enhanced public health measures.

  1. Cease all wedding receptions/gatherings in business establishments effective 12.01 a.m. November 13, 2020 through to at least January 7, 2021, though this may be extended as necessary.
  2. Cease all other large celebratory gatherings (except wedding receptions/gatherings as specified in instruction 1 and including but not limited to /2 celebrations linked to holidays or life events e.g., birthdays, engagements, retirements, gift showers, etc.) in business establishments effective 12.01 a.m. November 13, 2020, until further notice.
  3. For all workplaces:
    a) prohibit non-essential visitors from attending at their facilities.
    b) enable, as possible, work from home options for employees.

A copy of the enhanced public health measures in place in the region of Peel can be found here.

These public health regions will move into these new zones on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 12:01 a.m including Toronto and Peel Public Health moving into the Lockdown stage.

Visitor restrictions in long-term care homes will apply to the public health regions in the Orange-Restrict level or higher. Long-term care home staff, essential caregivers and support workers who provide care to residents in those regions will be tested more frequently for COVID-19, moving from bi-weekly tests to weekly In addition, support workers who provide direct care and caregivers in those regions will be asked to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result in the past week and verbally attest that they have not subsequently tested positive. These changes will go into effect on Monday November 23, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

The Ontario government is also doubling its initial commitment to $600 million in relief to support eligible businesses required to close or significantly restrict services due to enhanced public health measures made in the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.

Public Health Advice

These measures apply to GREEN, YELLOW and ORANGE sectors:

  • Close Contact, Gatherings, and Events:
    • Limit close contact to your household (the people you live with).
      • Individuals who live alone, including seniors, may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation
    • Maintain two metres of physical distancing from everyone else
    • Maintain a face covering indoors, outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained, or if wearing one is required
    • Virtual gatherings or events are the safest way to recognize occasions with people outside your household.
    • Adhere to provincial and applicable local restrictions on public and gatherings
  • Travel within Ontario
    • Individuals and families in higher transmission areas should avoid travel to lower transmission areas (e.g., Red to Orange, from Yellow to Green) except for essential reasons
  • Inter-provincial Travel
    • Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others
    • Individuals and families who consider traveling to another province for essential reasons during the holidays should:
      • Consider the risk associated with travelling. This includes COVID-19 transmission in the other province, entry requirements (e.g., quarantine) of some other provinces, etc.
      • Self-quarantine, or drastically reduce close contact with others 10 to 14 days before travelling and after returning home. This will help lower the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
    • General (Ontario) public health advice, as well as any rules and regulations of the other province, should be followed.
  • General Advice
    • Stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild;
    • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly;
    • Cover your cough;
    • Download the COVID Alert mobile app; and
    • Get tested if you have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, or if you’ve been advised of exposure by your local public health unit or through the COVID Alert mobile app.

In light of this new Framework, every employer should determine which measures which will apply to their workplace on the basis of their public health unit’s classification, and applicable measures, on an ongoing basis, to ensure  compliance.

If you have any questions about this matter, other COVID-19 related issues, or would like any other workplace law assistance, please contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer, or refer to the Firm’s COVID-19 website resources.

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