Human Resources Legislative Update
COVID-19 Update: Restrictions Imposed Across Ontario, and Orders Extended to October 22
Date: September 21, 2020
Note: this post has been modified from its original publication on September 18, 2020
The Ontario government has imposed restrictions on the number of people who can attend unmonitored social gatherings and public events across all Ontario regions in light of the increase of COVID-19 cases in these areas.
These restrictions are directed to private unmonitored events. They do not apply to organizations and businesses which may continue to operate at higher capacity limits as long as they comply with the physical distancing and other requirements set out in the Rules for Areas in Stage 3.
The government has also extended the existing orders made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, and which were continued under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, to October 22, 2020.
Increased Restrictions on Events and Gatherings
On September 17, 2020, the Ontario government amended the Rules For Areas in Stage 3 with respect to organized public events and social gatherings in the City of Ottawa, the City of Toronto and Peel Region, further to the uptick of COVID-19 in these areas. The changes came into effect on September 18, 2020.
On September 19, 2020, the government announced that that these restrictions would now apply across all of Ontario, effective on the same date.
As stated in the government’s news release, the restrictions are aimed at unmonitored social gatherings and organized public events (e.g. functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas). It is important to note that the new restrictions do not apply to businesses or organizations that operate in accordance with the Rules for Areas in Stage 3, which may continue to operate with the original capacity limits that apply to their operations.
With respect to unmonitored activities, indoor organized public events and social gatherings across Ontario are now restricted to 10 people and outdoor organized public events and social gatherings are restricted to 25 people. The new limits also apply to unmonitored weddings, funerals, religious services, rites and ceremonies in those areas, and specifically apply to events and gatherings in private dwellings. Attendees must comply with public health guidance on physical distancing.
The new rules also give police officers, special constables and First Nations Constables the power to order that premises be temporarily closed if the number of attendees exceed the restrictions.
Extension of Orders
On September 17, 2020, the Ontario government extended all existing orders made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (previously made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act) to October 22, 2020.
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