Human Resources Legislative Update
Further Amendments to Ontario’s Reopening Rules
Date: March 29, 2021
On March 26, 2021, the Ontario government announced changes to the Rules for Areas in Stages 1, 2 and 3.
Numerous amendments have been made to the Shutdown Zone of the Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (note that no public health units are currently in this Zone). These include, but are not limited to:
- permitting the opening of retail stores, including those in shopping malls, subject to applicable capacity limits, the closure of dining spaces and the undertaking of active screening, among all other applicable conditions
- permitting the operation of construction activities or projects and related services that support construction activities or projects, including demolition services
- permitting the opening of day camps for children that are operated in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines for COVID-19 for day camps produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
- amending the rules for public libraries
- removing the requirement that only 10 persons may attend an indoor gathering for the purposes of a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite or ceremony, such that the number that may now attend must not exceed 15 percent of the capacity of the room
- clarifying that every person in attendance at an organized public event or gathering which is permitted shall maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person, except from their caregiver or from members of the person’s household.
Amendments to the Grey Zone of the Rules for Areas in Stage 1 include, but are not limited to, permitting the following operations to open subject to a range of conditions:
- establishments that provide personal services relating to the hair or body, including hair salons and barbershops, manicure and pedicure salons, aesthetician services, piercing services, tanning salons, spas and tattoo studios (in force April 12, 2021)
- facilities for outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities, including a facility for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities that has such outdoor facilities, provided that the only activities permitted are outdoor fitness classes, personal training and training for team and individual sports
- the outdoor services of personal physical fitness and sports trainers.
Unless otherwise indicated, these changes came into force on March 29, 2021.
Amendments to the Rules for Areas Stage 2 and Stage 3 have also been made. These include:
- clarifying that every person in attendance at an organized public event or gathering which is permitted shall maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person, except from their caregiver or from members of the person’s household
- exempting the following from certain rules relating to restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments:
- establishments located on hospital premises or in an airport
- establishments located within a business or place where the only patrons permitted are those who perform work for the business or place in which the establishment is located.
As well, certain public health units have been moved to other levels within the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open:
- effective March 26, Timiskaming has been moved to the Red-Control Zone
- effective March 29, the City of Hamilton has been moved to the Grey-Lockdown Zone and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit has been moved to the Red-Control Zone
- effective March 30, Middlesex-London will be moved to the Red-Control Zone.
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