COVID-19

Update on Ontario’s Stay-at-Home Orders

The Ontario Government announced that while the state of emergency will expire as scheduled on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, the current Stay-at-Home Orders will remain in place in the majority of the public health regions in Ontario.

The Stay-at-Home Orders expire in the following three regions on Wednesday, February 10, 2021:

  1. Hastings Prince Edward Public Health;
  2. Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health; and
  3. Renfrew County and District Health Unit.

These regions will be moving to the Green-Prevent zone of Stage 3 and will no longer be subject to the Stage 1 restrictions, including the restrictions on construction activities.

Most other public health regions will remain in the Shutdown zone of Stage 1 and the Stay-at-Home Orders will continue to apply in most regions until Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

For Toronto, York Region and the Region of Peel, the Stay-at-Home Orders will remain until Monday, February 22, 2021. These dates will be subject to review of the trends in local public health indicators.

The Ontario government has also updated its COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open(“Framework”). The changes to the regional levels and specific public health measures apply to the retail sector and are set out below:

New for Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, and Orange-Restrict:
  • Stores must have passive screening for patrons (for example, posting signs outside the store front about not entering if you have COVID-19 symptoms)
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request
New for Red-Restrict:
  • Capacity limits of:
    • 75% for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies
    • 50% for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres
  • Stores must post capacity limit publicly
  • Stores must have passive screening for patrons (for example, posting signs outside the store front about not entering if you have COVID-19 symptoms)
  • Stores within the malls subject to appropriate retail measures
New to Grey-Lockdown:
  • In person shopping permitted for all retail, subject to capacity limits of:
    • 50% for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies
    • 25% for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres
  • Curbside pick-up and delivery permitted
  • Stores must post capacity limit publicly
  • Stores must have passive screening for patrons (for example, posting signs outside the store front about not entering if you have COVID-19 symptoms)
  • Individuals must physically distance and wear a face covering, with some exceptions
  • No loitering in shopping malls, and stores within the malls subject to appropriate retail measures

Mathews Dinsdale will continue to monitor the Government’s response to COVID-19, and will provide updates and analysis on any important developments.

If you have any questions about this topic, other COVID-19 related issues, or would like any other workplace law assistance, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer or refer to the Firm’s COVID-19 website resources.

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