NEW: Another week another announcement
- Moments ago, the Premier of Ontario announced that effective immediately, the existing mandatory stay-at-home order that commenced on April 7, 2021, will be extended for a further period of two weeks and will therefore apply for six (6) weeks in total. This is as a result of the rapid spread of COVID-19 variants across the Province.
- Outdoor Gatherings have also been limited further. Previously, individuals were permitted to gather outdoors and up to a maximum limit of five, however this has been reduced once again to members of you immediate household only.
- Outdoor recreational activities have also been impacted with playgrounds, golf courses and recreational courts to now be closed.
Impact on Construction
- Only essential construction will be permitted: According to this afternoon’s announcement, essential construction of homes, hospitals, assessment centres and long term care homes can continue, however this does not include non-essential construction projects such as shopping malls, office towers and hotels.
- Construction Site Inspections: Ontario is on notice that inspectors will be deployed to various construction sites in order to determine whether they are permitted to continue with their projects and if so, whether existing COVID protocols are being strictly adhered to.
Impact on other Sectors of Business & Offices
- If you can, you must work from home: That was the message this afternoon and, similarly, Ontario was put on notice that inspectors will now additionally be going into office environments and professional service firms in order to determine whether workers who are at work, are required to be there and, if so, whether adequate COVID protocols are in place.
- Given this, should we now be providing our staff members with a letter / email or text message, where they are required to come to work and cannot otherwise work from home? Although there is still no legal requirement mandating this, today’s announcement included that by-law officers can request any person to provide their home address and/or reason for travel if asked. Consequently, it may give employees who are required to come to work (or travel long distances) the requisite degree of comfort if in possession of such a letter. This would also serve to legitimize the employee’s need to be travelling to and from the workplace if questioned.
Impact on inter-provincial travel
- Provincial check points: The Provincial borders will now be monitored, and travel to and from the Province of Ontario will be limited, save and except for essential work related reasons, reasons related to medical care or treatment and the essential transport of goods.
- Air travel: Despite this, it appears that inter-provincial air travel is still permitted and otherwise unrestricted. This is due to the fact that air travel falls within the domain and jurisdiction of the Federal government who are yet to limit or impose restrictions on inter-provincial air travel.
Impact on Retail Sector
- In person shopping will now be restricted further from 50% of in-store capacity, to 25% of in-store capacity and with all existing COVID protocols to remain in place.
Impact on Manufacturing Sector
- None at this stage: Given the direct and indirect reliance on the total supply chain throughout the Province, the Premier as well as the Minister of Labour stated that manufacturing and other industries will continue, provided of course that all existing COVID protocols remain in place – and where employees who are able to work from home do so.
Impact on Religious Gatherings
- Further restrictions: Religious gatherings have now been restricted further and are limited to a total of 10 people only.
When can I leave my home?
- Employees who cannot work from home and who are necessarily required to be at work may still do so. In addition, attending retail stores for essential supplies or leaving your home in order to exercise outdoors will also be permitted, provided this is limited to members of your immediate household only.
- Priority Areas will now become the focus with vaccines being redirected and channeled to priority areas across the Province. This is being done in order to deal with hot spot and high outbreak areas that are driving the further restrictions implemented over the past few weeks.
We will continue to share further updates and insights as these become available however, for specific questions, please feel free to reach out to us directly at:
(519) 859 6015