COVID-19 Operational Restrictions

The pandemic has required government to utilize various emergency legislative and policy tools in order to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in our community. This includes measures such as declarations of an emergency, implementing stay-at-home orders, and instituting operational restrictions and requirements for commercial and recreational activities. Please see below for a list of measures impacting business operations currently in effect.

Hamilton is currently in: Step Three Reopening

It is important to be familiar with what the current operational restrictions mean for your business.

The provincial government’s Roadmap to Reopen plan includes specific provisions and guidelines for businesses, organizations and services permitted to operate in addition to safe operation requirements.

Review the Roadmap to Reopen Steps to understand what restrictions are currently in place.

 

On May 20, the Ontario government released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators.

Roadmap to Reopen outlines three steps to easing public health measures, guided by the following principles:

  • Step One: An initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower, and permitting retail with restrictions. This includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table and non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity.
  • Step Two: Further expanding outdoor activities and resuming limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn. This includes outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and leagues, personal care services where face coverings can be worn and with capacity limits, as well as indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15 per cent capacity. 
  • Step Three: Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, including where there are larger numbers of people and where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes indoor sports and recreational fitness; indoor dining, museums, art galleries and libraries, and casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits. Hamilton is currently in Step Three.

The province will remain in each step for at least 21 days to evaluate any impacts on key public health and health system indicators. If at the end of the 21 days, the following vaccination thresholds have been met, along with positive trends in other key public health and health system indicators, then the province will move to the next step:

  • Step One: 60 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose.
  • Step Two: 70 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and 20 per cent vaccinated with two doses.
  • Step Three: 70 to 80 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and 25 per cent vaccinated with two doses.

Click here to learn more about the Roadmap to Reopening.

In Ontario, a declaration of emergency made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (“EMCPA”), as well as any emergency orders adopted under the EMCPA, are periodically reviewed and renewed, as required. Recognizing that there will likely be a continued need to manage the public health risks and effects of COVID-19 well beyond the initially declared emergency, the Ontario government passed Bill 195, now known as the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

The Reopening Ontario Act does not allow for the creation of new emergency orders under the Act. However, the continued orders may be amended by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, but only if the amendment requires persons to act in compliance with the advice, recommendations or instruction of a public health official and the amendment relates to one of the following subject matters:

  • Closing or regulating any place, whether public or private, including any business, office, school, hospital or other establishment or institution;
  • Providing for rules or practices related to workplaces or the management of workplaces, or authorizing the person responsible for a workplace to identify staffing priorities or to develop, modify or implement redeployment plans or rules or practices that relate to the workplace or the management of the workplace, including credentialing processes in a health care facility; or
  • Prohibiting or regulating gatherings and organized public events.

Click here for the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA), 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17.

The City of Hamilton Public Health Services issued a Health Promotion and Protection Act Section 22 Class Order, to break the chain of transmission within local workplaces where COVID-19 or its variants are determined to be spreading.

The Order is now in effect.

The order will require:

  • Employers to notify Public Health Services if two or more cases of COVID-19 are identified within a 14-day period among those who attend the workplace by calling the Public Health Services COVID-19 Hotline at 905-974-9848, option 6, daily 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or after-hours at 905-546-2489.
  • Employers must also notify Public Health Services when five or more cases of COVID-19 are identified within a 14-day period among persons who attend the workplace.
  • The closure of certain workplaces, or parts of workplaces, where five or more confirmed COVID-19 cases are confirmed within a 14-day period and where cases could reasonable have been acquired through infection in the workplace.
  • A workplace closure to be in effect for a minimum period of 10 calendar days.
  • Workplaces subject to closure to post signage provided by Public Health Services at all entrances to the premises.
  • Workers at the closed workplace, or parts of workplaces, to self-isolate where exposures and potential transmission are considered widespread.

These measures may include the full or partial closures of workplaces. Certain workplaces may be exempt from the full closure requirement.

Click here for full details on the Section 22 Class Order including owner/operator requirements and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Businesses and workplaces that have questions regarding this announcement can email phscovid19@hamilton.ca

Face Coverings By-law (20-155), as amended;

Wearing a mask or face covering will be required in enclosed public spaces under City of Hamilton By-Law 20-155 and City of Hamilton By-law 20-202. The mask or face covering should cover your nose, mouth and chin, without gaping. Wearing a mask or face covering is an additional measure we can take to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and keep each other safe. This means that, with some exceptions, all persons, including customers and/or visitors entering an enclosed premise are required to wear a mask or face covering while in the enclosed space.

Click here to learn more about face coverings and masks.

Physical Distancing By-law (20-164), as amended;

Every person shall maintain a distance of at least two (2) metres from every other person who is not a member of the same household when in a Public Space under the City of Hamilton By-law 20-164.

Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health has recommended physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including maintaining a distance of at least two (2) metres from other individuals who are not members of the same household or who are not members of the same social circle.

Sector-Specific Guidance

Ontario is now in Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen. See below a list of sector-specific guidelines for common settings and how they impact your workplace. 

For additional sector-specific information, visit the City of Hamilton’s COVID restrictions page or the Government of Ontario’s sector-specific guidelines.

Learn more about local COVID-19 restrictions and general regulations at hamilton.ca/publicplaces.

  • Open for indoor and outdoor dining
  • Indoor and outdoor capacity limits must be posted and are based on physical distancing requirements for restaurants and food establishments without dancing facilities
  • Capacity limits for food and drink establishments with dance facilities are based on physical distancing requirements and are limited to 25% or 250 people (whichever is less) indoors, and 75% or 5,000 people (whichever is less) outdoors.
  • Tables must be at least 2 metres apart from one another or separated by a barrier.
  • If the outdoor dining area is covered, at least two full sides of the dining area must be open to the outdoors.
  • If the outdoor dining area has a retractable roof and the roof is retracted, at least one full side of the outdoor dining area must be open to the outdoors.
  • Dine-in patrons must wear face coverings indoors when not eating or drinking
  • Buffets are permitted.
  • Actively screen anyone who works in the establishment
  • Actively screen dine-in customers.and customers attending an establishment with a dance facility.
  • Ensure employees wear appropriate face coverings or personal protective equipment.
    • Servers, required to come within 2 metres of another person indoors who is not wearing a mask/face covering are required to wear a medical/surgical mask and eye protection
    • Servers required to come within 2 metres of another person indoors or outdoors, even if they are wearing a mask/face covering, are highly recommended to wear a medical/surgical mask and eye protection
  • Singing or performing music is allowed so long as the performer maintains 2 metres of physical distance from all spectators or is separated from any spectators by a non permeable barrier.
  • Dancing is only permitted in food and drink establishments with dancing facilities. This includes: nightclubs, bars, meeting or event spaces, conference centres, concert venues, gaming establishments, festivals/fairs etc.
  • Patrons at establishments with dancing facilities must wear a face covering indoors and outdoors unless exempt, or seated with members of their own household, and 2 metres away from individuals outside of their household.
  • Contact information must be collected and stored securely for 30 calendar days from every patron in the outdoor dining area (unless temporarily entering the area to place, pick up or pay for a take-out order).
  • Manage line-ups indoors (2 metres apart & masks) and outdoors (2 metres apart).
  • A written safety plan must be readily available ,visibly posted and available on request
  • Restaurants and food and drink establishments with dancing facilities must post in a visible location:

Resources:

  • Indoor and outdoor facilities are open.
  • The maximum number of patrons indoors at the facility is limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance, and cannot exceed 50% of the capacity of the facility
  • The number of spectators:
    • Indoors is 50% of the usual indoor seating capacity, or 1000 people, whichever is less
    • Indoors in a facility without a designated area for indoor spectators is based on ability to physically distance and cannot exceed 50% capacity, or 1000 people, whichever is less
    • Outdoors is 75% of the usual outdoor seating capacity, or 15, 000 people, whichever is less
    • Outdoors in a facility without a designated area cannot exceed 75%  or 5,000 people, whichever is less
  • Spectators must wear masks indoors unless exempt
  • Spectators must wear masks outdoors (unless exempt or seated with members of their own household and 2 metres from others). Masks be temporarily removed to eat and drink
  • Capacity limits must be posted
  • Face coverings are required indoors except when playing exercising or playing a sport
  • Sports clubs should review the sport return guidelines and follow the advice from the Provincial Sport Organizations.
  • Names and contact information must be collected from all patrons and stored securely for at least 30 calendar days.
  • Active screening of employees and patrons is required.
  • Hamilton Public Health Services strongly recommends assigned spaces for organized fitness classes (e.g. by marking circles on the ground to designate where each person should exercise).
  • Facilities must ensure that organized sports leagues or events have written safety plan .
  • Permits are required for use of public property. Please visit: https://www.hamilton.ca/recreation/recreation-facility-rentals for information on how to book a recreation facility.
  • Indoor pools, indoor whirlpools, communal steam rooms, and saunas are open.
  • The total number of individuals in an indoor facility at any one time must be limited to 50% of the capacity of the facility
  • Outdoor pools, waterparks, and recreational water facilities are permitted to operate (e.g. in condos, recreation centres, hotels, motels, campgrounds, marinas and resorts).
  • Waterpark capacity is limited to the number of people that can keep a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in an indoor area and may not exceed more than 50% capacity indoors and 75% capacity outdoors.
  • Clubhouse capacity limits are based on physical distancing requirements and are limited to a maximum of  50% capacity (capacity limits must be visibly posted).
  • Actively screen employees and customers
  • Face coverings are required at all times while in an establishment (e.g. change rooms and washrooms) but may be removed once on the pool deck. No masks are required in the pool.
  • Face masks are not required outdoors provided you can keep 2 metres from others.
  • A written safety plan is required and must be readily available detailing how workplaces will lower the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • Instructional space for the in-person teaching and instruction may be indoors or outdoors.
  • Instruction is limited to the number of students who can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the space where the instruction is provided and cannot exceed:
    •  50% capacity indoors or 1000 people (whichever is less)
    • 75% capacity outdoors or 15,000 people (whichever is less)
  • All students must maintain at least 2 metres distance from all other students except when necessary to provide effective instruction.
  • All students and employees must be actively screened prior to entering the premises.
  • A written safety plan must be readily available and visibly posted.
  • Names and contact information must be collected from all attendees and stored securely for at least 30 calendar days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The total number of patrons permitted is limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of 2 metres In shopping malls, the total number of patrons at a time must not exceed the total capacity (the sum of the capacities of every business in the mall)
  • Members of the public who enter the shopping mall must not loiter
  • Stores must post at all entrances
    • capacity limits
    • masking requirements
    • passive screening signs for patrons at all retail including mall entrances (i.e. posting signs visible to the public at all entrances that inform individuals how to screen themselves prior to entering premise).
  • Outdoor line ups require patrons to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from others.
  • Indoor line ups require patrons to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from others and wear a mask.
  • Active screening for staff required at all retail
  • A written safety plan must be readily available and visibly posted.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The total number of patrons permitted is limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of 2 metres.
  • Clients must book appointments in advance.
  • Actively screen employees AND customers.
  • Ensure employees and customers wear masks
    • Employees must wear medical masks and eye protection when working in close contact. *Non-medical masks do not provide acceptable protection.*
  • Patrons must wear masks/face coverings indoors but may remove masks temporarily if required to receive a service
  • oxygen bars remain closed.
  • Personal Care Services must post:
  • Hamilton Public Health strongly recommends assigning employees their own products. If products are shared, they should be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  • Hamilton Public Health strongly encourages keeping a detailed attendance record for contact tracing (name, date, time and email or phone number). Record and store contact information securely for 30 calendar days for all members of the public visiting the premise.
  • A written safety plan is required detailing how workplaces will lower the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace.
















 

 

 

 

  • Ensure that the number of workers permitted on a construction site is based on the ability to physically distance at least 2 metres from others (try to limit to the fewest number of people required to complete the task safely).
  • Make sure the correct type of face covering/PPE is worn for the job being performed.
  • Continue having construction workers who wear PPE for protection against workplace hazards aside from COVID-19 to use that PPE as required (e.g. respirators for wood dust or silica, gloves for handling chemicals or protecting from cuts).
  • Medical masks and eye protection (e.g. face shield or goggles) are recommended indoors AND outdoors any time that 2 metres of physical distance cannot be maintained.
  • Ensure workers have access to soap and water (or hand cleanser to remove grease, grime and oil and hand sanitizer if water is not available).
  • A written safety plan must be readily available and visibly posted.

Resources:

  • Indoor and outdoor limits for religious services and rites are based on the ability to maintain a physical distance of 2 metres between individuals
  • Face coverings or masks must be worn indoors.
  • Face coverings or masks are required outdoors when 2 metres of distance cannot be maintained from others.
  • Actively screen every person who works at the organization before they enter the premises.
  • Public Health strongly encourages keeping a detailed attendance record for contact tracing (name, date, time/event and email or phone number). Record and store contact information securely for 30 calendar days for all members of the public visiting the facility, including members of the congregation, visitors, and contractors.
  • Social gatherings before or after in-person services are limited by the ability to physically distance and cannot exceed 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors
  • If the place of worship has a meeting or event space, organized public events in this space is limited by the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres and cannot exceed 50% of the capacity of every room or 1000 people, whichever is less. Outdoors meeting and event spaces may not exceed 75% capacity or 5000 people, whichever is less.
  • Hamilton Public Health Services strongly recommends adapting or suspending activities that increase the risk of disease transmission such as singing, choirs and playing wind or brass instruments.
  • If singing or playing brass/wind instruments, ensure that there is at least 3 metres of distance between the performer and all other individuals. Consider use of a plexiglass barrier where available as an additional layer of protection.
  • For rites requiring close contact (e.g. baptism, circumcision), wear a medical mask and eye protection (i.e. face shield or goggles). Do not share personal protective equipment.
  • A written safety plan must be readily available and visibly posted.