COVID-19 Tip #16: Ontario Moves to Stage 3

Today, all of Ontario finally moves to Stage 3. This means that most businesses can re-open, provided that they follow requirements contained in a variety of regulations and government policies.

Regulation 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 sets out the rules that businesses in Stage 3 must follow, including:

  • General compliance: Ensuring compliance with: (i) all applicable laws, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act and related regulations; and (ii) advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials, including any on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting.
  • Capacity limits: Maintaining at least two metres distance between people. Maximum of 50 persons at indoor events, and 100 persons at outdoor events.
  • Cleaning: Ensuring that any amenities and equipment made available to the public are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.

The Stage 3 Rules also include specific requirements for restaurants, bars, public libraries, real estate open houses, personal care services (e.g., hair salons, barbershops), food courts, fitting rooms, driving instructors, sports and recreational facilities, day camps, cinemas, performing arts, drive ins, casinos, bingo halls, gaming establishments, racing venues, museums, tour and guide services and campgrounds.

Another key source of Ontario’s back-to-work strategy is its COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan Guide. Per the Guide, employers should establish a COVID safety plan, and ensure workers know how to follow all safety protocols and hygiene practices in that plan.

The plan should list actions that the employer will take in response to the following 6 questions:

  • How will you ensure all workers know how to keep themselves safe from exposure to COVID-19?
  • How will you screen for COVID-19?
  • How will you control the risk of transmission in your workplace?
  • What will you do if there is a potential case of, or suspected exposure to, COVID-19 at your workplace?
  • How will you manage any new risks caused by changes to the way you operate your business?
  • How will you make sure your plan is working?

For further information on Ontario’s Guide and requirements for re-opening, see COVID-19 Tip #13: Ontario Moves to Stage 2.