On October 9, 2020, the Ontario government announced the re-introduction of certain pandemic restrictions in Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel Region as a result of higher than average rates of COVID-19 transmission. These modified Stage 2 restrictions came into effect on October 10, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will be in place for a minimum of 28 days, thereafter being reviewed on an ongoing basis. The restrictions include the following:
Social and Service Gathering Limits
A maximum of 10 people will be permitted to gather when indoors and a maximum of 25 people will be permitted to gather when outdoors, provided social distancing can be maintained. Schools and places of worship are exempt from these restrictions. However, the measures still impact other services, including:
- Weddings (effective October 13, 2020)
- Tour and guide services
- Real Estate open houses
- Meeting and event spaces
- Limiting Team Sports to training sessions only (no games or scrimmages)
- Personal care services where face coverings must be removed (such as for makeup application and beard trimming)
The restrictions force many types of businesses to shutdown, including:
- Indoor dinning establishments (such as food courts, restaurants, bars, and clubs), although delivery and takeout are still permitted
- Indoor gyms and fitness centers
- Casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments
- Performing arts centres and venues
- Spectator and racing venues
- Interactive exhibits or exhibits with high risk of personal contact in museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, and landmarks
The Ontario government has expressed that it will make $300 million available to assist businesses that are significantly affected by these changes and COVID-19. Premier Ford has promised to release more details of these measures in the coming days and has stated that the measures will likely include assistance with fixed costs such as property taxes, hydro and natural gas bills.
Our firm will continue to provide you with updates as the Ontario Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.
The foregoing is for informational purposes only and should in no way be relied upon as legal advice. For legal advice tailored to your circumstances and business, please contact any of SOM LLP’s lawyers by email or telephone.