COVID-19

York Region Joins Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa in a Modified Stage 2 Re-opening -Updated Oct 10/20

Amid the increasing number of newly reported Covid-19 cases, the Ontario Government is acting on the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer of Health to add York Region to the list of communities moved from stage 3 to a modified stage 2 re-opening. As of Monday October 19, 2020 these following restrictions will apply to York Region, along with the City of Toronto, the Region of Peel, and the City of Ottawa.  These restrictions will be in place for at least 28 days. The Government states that it will continue to monitor and review these targeted measure. The Regulation formally establishing the changes can be found here.

The Following Modified Stage 2 Measures have been implemented in Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa:

  • Prohibiting indoor food and drink services in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, including nightclubs and food court areas in malls;
  • Reducing limits for all social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained.
  • Closure of:
    • indoor gyms and fitness centres
    • indoor cinemas
    • casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
    • performing arts and venues
    • spectator areas in racing venues
    • interactive exhibits or exhibits with high risk of personal contact in museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, etc.
  • Prohibiting personal care services where masks must be removed for the service (e.g. makeup application, beard trimming)
  • Limiting the use of facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities
    • No indoor fitness, exercise or dance classes
    • Areas containing weights or exercise machines must be closed
    • No games or scrimmages
    • No spectators
    • No activities that are likely to result in individuals coming within two metres of each other
    • Exceptions are provided for certain professional sports teams (NHL, NLL MLB etc)
  • Reducing capacity limits for:
  • Tour and guide services to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
  • Real estate open houses to 10 people indoors, where physical distancing can be maintained
  • In-person teaching and instruction (e.g. cooking class) to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, with exemptions for schools, child care centres, universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, private career colleges, the Ontario Police College
  • Meeting and event spaces to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
    • Limits for indoor and outdoor gathering cannot be combined

Wedding, funeral, religious service, rite or ceremonies scheduled for this weekend may proceed under existing public health measures. However, effective Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 12:01 p.m. updated public health measures will apply to these events. Including the following:

  • Wedding, funeral, religious service, rite or ceremony held in private residential buildings including houses, apartments, condominiums and post-secondary residences will be restricted to new gathering limits of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
  • Wedding, funeral, religious service, rite or ceremony held indoors in a building or structure other than a private dwelling is now limited, as the number of individuals occupying a room must not exceed 30% of the capacity of the particular room
    • All individuals attending the gathering must comply with public health guidance on physical distancing
  • Wedding, funeral, religious service, rite or ceremony held outdoors in a building or structure other than a private dwelling will be restricted to no more than 100 people
    • All individuals attending the gathering must comply with public health guidance on physical distancing

Schools, child care centres, and places of worship will remain open in these communities and must continue to follow the public health measures in place. Before-school and after-school programs will also be exempt from these new restrictions

As these necessary public health measures come at a cost to small businesses, Ontario plans to make $300 million available to assist significantly affected businesses with fixed costs, including property taxes, hydro and natural gas bills. This support will be made available in any region where these measures are necessary. More details will be released in the coming days.

In addition to the measures being implemented, the Government is urging all Ontarians to:

  • Limit trips outside of home, except for essential purposes only such as work where it is not possible to work from home, school, grocery shopping, medical appointments, and outdoor healthy physical activity. In addition, travel to other regions in the province, especially from higher transmission to lower transmission areas, should only be for essential purposes
  • Practise physical distancing of at least two metres with those outside your household
  • Wear a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so, and
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly; and following gathering limits and rules

The Ontario Government will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation across the province to advise if and when public health measures or restrictions should be adjusted or tightened.

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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