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.
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.
On Friday, October 22, the Ontario government launched A Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term, which outlines the province’s gradual approach to lifting all remaining public health and workplace safety measures, including the provincial requirement for proof of vaccination and wearing of face coverings in indoor public settings, over the next six months.
The plan will be guided by the ongoing assessment of key public health and health care indicators and supported by local or regional tailored responses to COVID-19.
Here are the proposed following milestones:
October 25, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.
Ontario will lift capacity limits for:
The government will also allow other settings to lift capacity limits and physical distancing requirements if they choose to require proof of vaccination, including:
This will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores and medical supplies.
November 15, 2021
The government intends to lift capacity limits for higher-risk food or drink establishments with dance facilities (e.g., night clubs, wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing).
January 17, 2022
Following the winter holiday months, the province intends to begin gradually lifting capacity limits in settings where proof of vaccination is not required. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will also lift CMOH directives as appropriate.
Proof of vaccination requirements may also begin to be gradually lifted at this time, including for restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, facilities used for sports and recreational facilities and casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments.
March 28, 2022
At this time, it is intended that remaining public health and workplace safety measures will be lifted, including wearing face coverings in indoor public settings.The provincial requirement for proof of vaccination will also be lifted for all remaining settings, including meeting and event spaces, sporting events, concerts, theatres and cinemas, racing venues and commercial and film productions with studio audiences.
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:
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:
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:
These measures may include the full or partial closures of workplaces. Certain workplaces may be exempt from the full closure requirement.
Businesses and workplaces that have questions regarding this announcement can email email@example.com
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.
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.
Ontario is now in Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen. For 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.