The Ontario government keeps moving forward with its previously announced regional approach that will see more businesses and services allowed to open for communities to enjoy and more workers returning to work.
Yesterday, Premier Doug Ford announced that, effective Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., Toronto and Peel Region will join the 31 other public health regions that entered Stage 2 on June 12 and 19.
As a result of Premier Ford's announcement, Toronto and Peel Region businesses and services now permitted to reopen, with proper health and safety measures in place, include:
- Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
- Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
- Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
- Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
- Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
- Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
- Camping at private campgrounds;
- Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
- Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
- Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing;
- Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people; and
- Places of worship, provided physical distancing measures are implemented and attendance is limited to no more than 30 percent of the building's capacity.
A complete list of every business and service that is allowed to reopen in Stage 2 can be found here.
Windsor-Essex will remain subject to the existing Stage 1 restrictions as provincial authorities deem that the coronavirus remains too much of a threat to allow this region to reopen further this week. The situation in the region will continue to be assessed on an ongoing basis.
Meanwhile, there are no changes with respect to the limit on social gatherings which had previously been increased from five to 10 people in all communities across the province.
This most recent announcement paves the way for Stage 3, which will focus on reopening most remaining workplaces and community spaces, while carefully and gradually easing restrictions in communities where it is deemed safe to do so based on public health information.
Although restrictions are being gradually relaxed in Stage 2, the Ontario government continues to remind everyone that public health advice and workplace safety guidance remain in place. In particular, employers are being reminded that all legislative occupational health and safety requirements must be followed and that protocols must be implemented to protect not only their workers, but also their customers and the general public from the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
As Ontario moves closer to Stage 3, we continue to monitor all legal aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on employers across Ontario. Should you require assistance regarding any of the subjects discussed above, including compliance with applicable health and safety guidelines, please contact a member of Gowling WLG's Employment, Labour & Equalities Group.