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A Further Update on COVID-19 – The Government of Ontario Announces that Stage Two will Commence on June 12, 2020 for specific non-GTA regions – June 9, 2020

June 9, 2020
by Israel Foulon Wong LLP


Since our June 1, 2020 E-Bulletin, the Government of Ontario has announced that it will apply a regional framework as it moves forward with Stage Two of its plan to gradually reopen the economy. 

The following regions are not permitted to enter Stage Two until they are advised by public health that it is safe to do so:

  • Durham Region Health Department
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  • Halton Region Public Health
  • Hamilton Public Health Services
  • Lambton Public Health
  • Niagara Region Public Health
  • Peel Public Health
  • Toronto Public Health
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
  • York Region Public Health

For greater clarity, the full list of regions that are permitted to progress to Stage 2 may be accessed HERE.

Social Gatherings:

As of Friday, June 12, 2020, at 12:01 AM, the province-wide limit on social gatherings will be increased from 5 people to 10. This includes the regions listed above that are not scheduled to enter Stage Two.

Stage Two – What Can Open?

As of Friday, June 12, 2020, the following list of businesses are permitted to reopen for Stage Two, provided that they meet the social distancing requirements outlined by public health:

  • Select Personal and Personal Care Services
    • These businesses include hair services, beauty salons, and weight-reduction centres (non-medical).
    • Where social distancing cannot be maintained, customers and staff should be required to wear face coverings and appropriate PPE at all times.
  • Restaurant Services and Bars
    • These businesses are permitted to open exclusively for outdoor dining only, such as patios, curbside, parking lot, and adjacent premises.
    • These businesses must have measures in place to maintain social distancing of 2 meters between patrons from different households.
    • Reservations will be required.
  • Shopping Malls and Centres
    • Food courts may only open for takeout and outdoor dining.
    • Mall operators should review the list of requirements for essential businesses and warehouses that were permitted to remain open during Stage One.
  • Film and Television Production
    • Physical distancing must be maintained on set wherever possible.
  • Drive-Ins and Drive Through Venues
    • Operators must put in place measures to make sure that patrons do not leave their vehicles, except to use the washroom or in the case of an emergency.
    • All food and beverage purchases must be delivered directly to customers’ vehicles.
  • Outdoor Recreational Facilities
    • Low contact activities are permitted such as mini putt, paintball, archery ranges, go-cart tracks.
    • Activities that do not allow for the physical distancing of 2 meters are not allowed.
  • Additional Green Space, Beaches, and Private Campgrounds
    • These facilities must adhere to strict limits on social gatherings and put efforts in place to maintain social distancing.
    • Some park services will be permitted to open at limited capacity only.

A full list of businesses permitted to open can be accessed HERE.

Childcare Services

On June 9, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced that all childcare centres, province wide, will be permitted to reopen as early as June 12, 2020. This includes childcare centres located in regions that have not been permitted to move on to Stage Two. Centres are permitted to open provided that they adhere to the following protocols: 

  • Children and staff on premises will be limited to groups of 10 or less.
  • The centre must have a COVID-19 response plan in place in case an individual is exposed to COVID-19.
  • All children and staff must be screened for symptoms prior to entering the premises.
  • Centres must be thoroughly cleaned before opening and frequently thereafter.
  • Daily attendance records must be kept for contact tracing purposes.
  • No non-essential visitors are permitted.
  • Daily drop off and pick up points must facilitate social distancing.

You can access the full press release HERE.

Requests for Accommodation on the Basis of Childcare and Family Status

  • Employers must carefully consider requests for accommodation on the basis of child care and family status on a case-by-case basis and, where appropriate, accommodate employees to the point of undue hardship.
  • As restrictions on group gatherings are lifted and businesses re-open, employees with children at home should make reasonable attempts to arrange for alternative childcare arrangements if they are able to do so, which may include babysitters, childcare centres and assistance from other family members, as appropriate.
  • We recommend that you seek legal advice with regard to specific accommodation requests.

Health and Safety Guidelines for Employers Considering Reopening their Businesses

  • The Ministry of Labour has partnered with Ontario’s Health and Safety associations to develop sector-specific health and safety guidelines to help businesses safely reopen.
  • The full database can be accessed HERE.

Workplace PPE Supplier Directory

  • Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, announced on May 20, 2020 that as people continue to enter public settings, they should be wearing non-medical masks when physical distancing is not possible.
  • The Ontario Government has provided an up to date list of companies and associations that are ready to supply businesses with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).   The list may be accessed HERE.

Proposed Temporary Ban on Commercial Evictions

  • The Government of Ontario announced that it has proposed legislative amendments to the Commercial Tenancies Act.
  • If passed, the amendments would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance (CECRA) until August 31, 2020.

You can access the Ontario government’s newsroom announcement regarding the proposed temporary ban on commercial evictions HERE.

You can access the Ontario government’s newsroom announcement regarding Stage Two HERE.

Given the exceptional and unprecedented situation, we expect further developments in the coming days.

Israel Foulon’s Response to COVID-19 Israel Foulon is assessing the situation as it evolves, and is taking all necessary precautions within its workplace. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the health of our team and clients, absent extraordinary circumstances we are working remotely until further notice whenever possible. However, please be aware that our offices remain open and are fully functioning. In the circumstances, we encourage our clients to contact us by phone and email to the extent possible. Voicemail messages left at our office phone numbers are immediately forwarded via email. All messages will be promptly responded to. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our clients and would be more than happy to assist you with concerns regarding COVID-19 or any other employment or labour matters.

Legal Disclaimer

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice, which in all circumstances must be tailored to the specific facts of any problem. You should obtain a proper legal consultation in order to determine how this article applies to your specific situation. Please feel free to contact Israel Foulon LLP to learn more at 416-640-1550.