Ontario, Canada Moves To Regional Approach For Stay-at-Home Orders
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On February 8, 2021, Ontario issued a news release announcing that it would be
moving to a regional approach regarding its COVID-19 response. Most
regions are maintaining the province’s shutdown, stay-at home
order, and public health and workplace safety measures. When safe,
the province will gradually transition each region from the
shutdown to a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe
and Open (Framework). Premier Doug Ford indicated that
this approach is motivated by the impact COVID-19 has had on
businesses and a need to allow them to safely reopen.
Status of Stay-at-home Orders
As public health trends are improving more quickly in some
regions than others, the current stay-at-home order will be amended
accordingly. Except for the three regions listed immediately below
that will no longer be subject to a stay-at home order on February
10, 2021, individual stay-at-home orders will be made applicable to
each public health region.
February 10, 2021
On February 10, 2021, the following regions will no longer be
subject to the stay-at-home order, and they will be moving back to
the Green-Prevent level of the Framework:
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health;
- Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health;
- Renfrew County and District Health.
February 16, 2021
It is proposed that until February 16, 2021, the stay-at-home
order will continue to apply to 28 public health regions.
February 22, 2021
It proposed that until February 22, 2021, the stay-at-home order
will continue to apply to:
Final decisions will be subject to a review of public health
Introduction of an “Emergency Brake”
Because of the risk posed by the new variants, Ontario
introduced an “emergency brake” to allow the Chief
Medical Officer of Health, in consultation with the local medical
officer of health, to immediately move a public health unit region
into Grey-Lockdown to interrupt transmission if:
- It experiences rapid acceleration in COVID-19 transmission;
- Its health care system risks being overwhelmed.
Termination of Provincial Emergency
On February 9, 2021, the provincial emergency declared under s.
7.01 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act
A Safer Approach in Retail
The updated Framework will permit limited in-person shopping in
Grey-Lockdown zones (in most settings, 25% of capacity), with
public health and safety measures. At other levels of the
Framework, retail public health and safety measures will be
strengthened. When indoors in businesses, face coverings and
physical distancing will be required, with limited exceptions.
Organized Public Events or Gatherings
Where organized public events or gatherings are permitted,
individuals in attendance will be required to wear a face covering
when they are within two metres of another individual who is not
part of their household, regardless of whether the event or
gathering is indoors or outdoors. All other requirements pertaining
to events and gatherings will be maintained.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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