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December 29, 2020 - By Elia Associates

COVID-19 Bulletin No. 33: Back To The Future - Ontario Returns To Province Lockdown

Updated on December 29th 2020

Effective 12:01am Saturday, December 26th 2020, Ontario entered a province-wide lockdown to minimise the transmission of COVID-19 and to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. All Public Health Regions were moved into the “Grey Zone” of the five-zone system put in place by the Ontario Government.

The province-wide lockdown is similar to the lockdown which took place in March 2020, with only essential services remaining open. The lockdown is expected to remain in place for at least 28 days in Southern Ontario and at least 14 days in Northern Ontario; however, the Provincial Government will continue to monitor the situation.

For more information on the province-wide lockdown, please click here.

What services are deemed essential and may continue to operate during a lockdown?

Ontario Regulation 82/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 1 (“O. Reg. 82/20”), as amended, under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17 (the “Reopening Ontario Act”) mandates the closure of all non-essential businesses and places that are currently under Stage 1 of Ontario’s Re-Opening Plan.  Businesses and places that are deemed “essential” must operate under strict restrictions.

The following services, which have been deemed essential, may be applicable to condominiums:

What amenities must be suspended during lockdown?

All indoor and outdoor fitness facilities must be closed, including swimming pools.

Open houses are prohibited during lockdown; however, properties can be shown to individuals on an appointment-only basis.

Non-essential renovations are prohibited. Limiting access to the building to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is a reasonable response to the pandemic and a condominium corporation should enforce this. However, there must be exceptions for emergencies and essential services.

Creating a safe work environment for Condominium employees

As of September 26th, 2020, employers are required to conduct daily health screenings on their employees. Accordingly, it is recommended that condominium corporations coordinate information exchanges with employers daily and/or screen all workers that enter the premises.  The screening should include a temperature check, self-screening protocol and completion of a COVID-19 questionnaire in compliance with recommendations and instructions of public health officials. As of December 26th, 2020, O. Reg 82/20 provides that a business or organization shall operate in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening individuals and on working remotely. If at all possible, employees should be encouraged to work remotely. The condominium should establish a schedule for employees to come to the office on set days to limit contact with other colleagues and limit the spread of COVID-19.

In this regard, please refer to our previous COVID-19 Bulletins on proper protocols and procedures to be implemented and followed by condominium corporations while in lockdown and more generally, during the pandemic.

Please also ensure that you speak with your legal counsel if you do not already have COVID-19 protocols and policies in place to help manage the risk of transmission of the virus within your condominium community and require assistance with respect to drafting and/or implementing the same.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact anyone on our team:

Richard Elia

1-866-446-0811 ext. 801

Patricia Elia

1-866-446-0811 ext. 802

Antoni Casalinuovo

1-866-446-0811 ext. 808

Ashley Winberg

1-866-446-0811 ext. 806

Megan Molloy

1-866-446-0811 ext. 805

Victor Yee

1-866-446-0811 ext. 810

Jonathan Wright

1-866-446-0811 ext. 603

Julia White

1-866-446-0811 ext. 824

All of the information contained in this article is of a general nature for informational purposes only, and is not intended to represent the definitive opinion of the firm of Elia Associates on any particular matter. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this newsletter is accurate and up-to-date, the reader should not act upon it without obtaining appropriate professional advice and assistance.

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