October 6, 2020by Israel Foulon LLP
On October 2, 2020, Premier Doug Ford announced that the government of Ontario, in consultation with public health and O. Reg 364/20, would be mandating the use of masks and face coverings in all indoor public spaces across the province.
Indoor Mask Policy and O. Reg 364/20
Pursuant to O. Reg 364/20 (Rules for Areas in Stage 3 (A Flexible Response to COVID-19), employers must comply with all advice, recommendations, and instructions of public health officials.
During his press briefing on Friday, October 2, 2020, Premier Doug Ford stated that in consultation with public health, effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, October 3, masks will now be mandatory throughout the province in all indoor public areas, on transit, and in workplaces if you “can’t maintain two meters distance between you and your colleagues.”
The Government of Ontario has not published a specific regulation. However, in light of Premier Ford’s comments and the effect of O. Reg 364/20, employers should take care to ensure that employees follow the indoor mask policy wherever social distancing cannot be maintained.
Targeted Public Health Measures for Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa
In addition to the expansion of the indoor mask policy, the government of Ontario announced additional targeted public health measures for Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa due to their higher than average COVID-19 transmission rates.
As of Saturday, October 3, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., select businesses will be subject to the following public health orders:
Restaurants and other food and drink establishments:
- Indoor capacity limit: restricting occupancy to a maximum of six patrons per table and no more than 100 per establishment.
- Contract tracing: business operators must collect the name and contact information for each patron.
Gym and Fitness Facilities:
- Indoor capacity limit: restricting the total number of people allowed at these facilities to a maximum of 50.
- Group exercise classes are limited to a maximum of 10 individuals per class.
Meeting and Event Facilities:
- Indoor capacity limit: restricting the number of people allowed to six people per table, and 50 people per facility.
The Ontario Newsroom announcement detailing the full list of new public health measures can be accessed HERE.
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.