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COVID-19 Update: Modified Stage 2 Restrictions and Targeted Health Measures for Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region

This afternoon, in an effort to address the recent rise of COVID-19 cases in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel, the Government of Ontario announced new closures and additional targeted public health measures in the Toronto, Ottawa and Peel public health unit regions.

New Closures and Additional Targeted Public Health Measures in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel

Effective October 10, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., modified Stage 2 restrictions are being implemented in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel and will be in effect for a minimum of 28 days. Measures under the modified Stage 2 include:

  • Reduced limits for all social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained. The two limits may not be combined for an indoor-outdoor event;
  • Prohibition of all indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, including nightclubs and food court areas in malls;
  • Closure of:
    • Indoor gyms and fitness centres (i.e., exercise classes and weight and exercise rooms);
    • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments;
    • Indoor cinemas;
    • Performing arts centres and venues;
    • Spectator areas in racing venues; and
    • Interactive exhibits or exhibits with high risk of personal contact in museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, etc.;
  • Cessation of personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service (e.g. makeup application, beard trimming);
  • Reduced capacity limits for:
    • Tour and guide services to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors;
    • Real estate open houses to 10 people indoors, where physical distancing can be maintained;
    • In-person teaching and instruction (e.g. cooking class) to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, with exemptions for schools, child care centres, universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, private career colleges, the Ontario Police College, etc.; and
    • Meeting and event spaces to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors; and
  • Limiting team sports to training sessions (i.e. no games or scrimmages).

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Government of Ontario has confirmed that schools, child care centres, and places of worship will remain open in the Toronto, Ottawa and Peel regions. Before-school and after-school programs are also exempt from these new restrictions.

Additionally, effective October 13, 2020, health measures applicable to wedding receptions will also be updated, including new gathering limits of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors at event spaces.

In addition to the measures being implemented in the Ottawa, Peel and Toronto public health unit regions, the Chief Medical Officer of Health is also urging all Ontarians to:

  • Limit trips outside of home, except for essential purposes;
  • Practise physical distancing of at least two metres with those outside your household;
  • Wear a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so;
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly; and
  • Follow gathering limits and rules.

Additional Announcements for the City of Toronto

In addition to the Government of Ontario’s announcement, the City of Toronto also announced that it will be implementing new measures for recreational programs to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Effective October 13, 2020, the following recreational programs and services being offered in recreational facilities will be suspended until further notice:

  • Registered and instructional programs such as learn to skate and swim programs, dance, group fitness and wellness programs;
  • Hockey games and scrimmages;
  • Drop-in sports programs other than leisure and lane swim and leisure skate;
  • Table tennis, billiards, foosball;
  • Access to the City’s two conservatories; and
  • Indoor permits for social gatherings and sport games/group fitness.

The City of Toronto will continue to operate the following programs with capacity restrictions and other health measures in place:

  • Leisure swim, lane swim and leisure skating;
  • Arts and general interest instruction;
  • After-school Recreation Care;
  • December camps for children;
  • Drop-in youth programs that do not include sports;
  • Indoor athletic training permits with no game play, including hockey training; and
  • Permits for outdoor sports.

Outdoor amenities in parks and green spaces, such as sports fields, skate parks, trails, tennis courts, basketball courts, outdoor fitness equipment, picnic shelters and playgrounds will remain open at this time.

This update is part of our continuing efforts to keep you informed about the COVID-19. Watch our COVID-19 hub and our McCarthy Tétrault Employer Advisor blog for further updates, including in-depth analysis of emergency legislation in Ontario, federally, and in other jurisdictions. If you need assistance, please reach out to any member of our Labour & Employment Team.




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