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A Further Update on COVID-19 – Government of Ontario Issues Four (4) Week Stay-At-Home Order – In Response to New Variants and Increasing Hospitalizations – April 7, 2021

April 7, 2021
by Israel Foulon Wong LLP


The Government of Ontario announced today that it is declaring the third state of emergency since the initial onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The news comes in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission rates and the impact of the new variants of concern on the province’s health care system. In addition, the province announced that it will be implementing a  province-wide stay-at-home order for a period of at least four (4) weeks in an effort to break the ‘third wave.’

Stay-At-Home / Work from Home

Effective Thursday, April 8, 2021, at 12:01 am, the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with limited exceptions such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing healthcare services, exercise, or attending work where the work cannot be done remotely. All businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home does work from home.

We recommend that employers carefully review the nature of their employees’ work and require individuals to work from home wherever possible.

You can review the Ontario Newsroom full press release HERE.

Additional Emergency Brake Measures

Effective April 8, at 12:01, am, the province of Ontario is implementing the following additional public health and safety measures under the provincewide Emergency Brake:

  • Non-essential retailers may only operate for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., with delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm;
  • Restricting access to shopping malls to limited specified purposes, including access for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, along with other restrictions;
  • Restricting discount and big box stores in-person retail sales to grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, health care items, and personal care items only; and
  • Permitting the select stores to operate for in-person retail by appointment only and subject to a 25 per cent capacity limit and restricting allowable hours of operation to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. with the delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

These measures are in addition to those implemented on April 3, 2021.

You can review our detailed analysis of the earlier announced Emergency Brake orders HERE.

City of Toronto, Peel and Guelph Regions Issue Requiring Schools to Move to Remote Learning

The following public health regions’ Chief Medical Officers have issued Section 22 orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, requiring all elementary and secondary schools to shift to online/remote learning until at least April 18, 2021:

  • Toronto Public Health
  • Peel Public Health
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

Employees who are not able to work from home and are required to take a leave of absence to care for a child whose school is closed because of a designated infectious disease are permitted to go on an Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL). Employees who choose to go on IDEL during this time are considered to be on an unpaid statutory job-protected leave of absence and entitled to be reinstated upon providing proper notice.

You can review the City of Toronto’s full press release HERE.

Save the Date: Israel Foulon Wong’s Upcoming Breakfast Seminar!

Save the date for our upcoming ZOOM Breakfast Seminar.

Israel Foulon Wong LLP is pleased to invite you to our upcoming breakfast seminar on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. We will be discussing various significant and current legal issues impacting the workplace, including COVID-19 related issues. A full list of topics will be provided closer to the date of the event.  

Israel Foulon Wong’s Response to COVID-19

Israel Foulon Wong 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.