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: Provincial Emergency / Stay-at-Home Order

It is important to be familiar with what the current status means for the operation of your business. The Provincial Government’s COVID-19 Response Framework includes specific provisions and guidelines for businesses, organizations and services permitted to operate in addition to safe operation requirements.

Review the Provincial Zones to understand what restrictions are currently in place.

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

Effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m, the Provincial Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order requires everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely.

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is immediately declaring a third provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA). These measures are being taken in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, the threat on the province’s hospital system capacity, and the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants.

Effective Saturday, April 17 at 12:01 a.m. the provincial government announced it is extending the Stay-at-Home order (O.Reg 265/21) for an additional two weeks (a new total of 6 weeks).

The following additional enforcements come into effect Saturday, April 17 at 12:01 a.m.:

  • Outdoor gatherings with people outside a person’s household will be prohibited
  • All outdoor recreation facilities are to be closed (i.e. golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields)
  • Close all non-essential construction (exception includes construction of residences and provincial health infrastructure)
  • Reduce capacity limits to 25% in all retail settings where in-store shopping is permitted
  • Closing Quebec and Manitoba inter-provincial borders
  • Capacity at religious gatherings, weddings and funerals will be limited to 10 people (Effective Monday, April 19 at 12:01 a.m.)

All other public health and workplace safety measures for non-essential retail under the provincewide emergency brake (i.e., curbside pick-up and delivery only) will continue to apply.

Click here to read the full announcement. 

The provincial government has created a framework that categorizes public health regions into five levels: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown.

Each level outlines the types of public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations. These include targeted measures for specific sectors, institutions and other settings.

The COVID-19 Response Framework will be paused whenever the Provincewide Emergency Brake/Shutdown or Stay-at-Home Order is in effect.

Learn how the government is keeping Ontario safe and open, including regional health measures and sector-specific public health and workplace safety measures. Click here to learn more.

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.

Effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, declared a third provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA).

The stay-at-home order requires everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely. This order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at limiting people’s mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household. In addition to limiting outings for these purposes, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

Click here for the Stay at Home Order: Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.9.

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.