Human Resources Legislative Update
Ontario Announces Further Capacity Limit Reductions in Light of Omicron
Date: December 20, 2021
On December 17, 2021, the Ontario government announced it is taking further public heath measures in light of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.
The new measures significantly expand upon the December 15 announcement reducing capacity limits to 50% in certain settings with a usual capacity of 1000 or more. Effective December 19, 2021, the following indoor settings are now also subject to a 50% capacity limit:
- Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments and strip clubs
- Personal care services
- Personal physical fitness trainers
- Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies)
- Shopping malls
- Non-spectator areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g. gyms)
- Indoor recreational amenities
- Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities
- Tour and guide services
- Photography studios and services
- Marinas and boating clubs
- Facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities
- Entertainment facilities such as concert venues, theatres and cinemas
- Racing venues
- Meeting and event spaces
- Studio audiences in commercial film and television production
- Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions
- Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments, and
- Fairs, rural exhibitions, and festivals.
Businesses or facilities must post a conspicuous sign stating the capacity limits that are permitted in the establishment. These limits do not apply to any portion of a business or place that is being used for a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite, or ceremony.
Additional measures in effect December 19, 2021 include, but are not limited to:
- bars and restaurants (as well as meeting and event spaces that serve food and drink like a restaurant) must close by 11 p.m. (this restriction does not apply to take out and delivery)
- food and/or drink services is prohibited at indoor sporting events, concert venues, theatres and cinemas, among others
- the sale of alcohol is prohibited after 10 p.m. and the consumption of alcohol in businesses or settings is prohibited after 11 p.m.
- social gathering limits are reduced to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
The changes have been supported by regulatory amendment to the Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step
The article in this client update provides general information and should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. This publication is copyrighted by Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP and may not be photocopied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP. ©