Covid-19 Bulletin No.43: Ontario Moves to Step 3 of Its Reopening Plan
Ontario has moved into Step 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan as of TODAY, Friday, July 16, 2021. The Ontario government announced that the province had surpassed all of its set targets and is moving into Step 3 five days earlier than initially anticipated.
In order to enter Step 3, Ontario needed to have vaccinated 70 to 80 per cent of individuals 18 years of age or older with one dose and 25 per cent with two doses for at least two weeks, ensuring a stronger level of protection against COVID-19. As of July 8, 2021, over 77 per cent of the population in Ontario aged 12 and older have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and over 50 per cent have received their second dose.
Ontario Regulation 364/20 (“O. Reg. 364/20”) governs the Rules for Areas in Step 3.
What is permitted when Ontario enters Step 3?
In Step 3 the province will allow the following, in addition to what was already permitted in Step 1 and 2:
- Indoor gatherings must be limited to 25 people;
- Outdoor gatherings must be limited to 100 people;
- Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities with limited capacity; and
- Indoor pools, splash pads, spray pads, whirlpools, wading pools and water slides, providing there is a minimum of 2 metres physical distancing;
- Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing still in effect;
- Essential and non-essential retail with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
- Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering;
- Real estate open houses with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; and
- Concert venues, cinemas and theatres are permitted to operate at up to 50% capacity indoors or maximum limit of 1,000 for seated events and up to 75% capacity outdoors or a maximum of 5,000 for unseated events.
Face coverings in an indoor public setting and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout Step 3.
What does this mean for condominiums?
All indoor fitness rooms and indoor swimming pools will be permitted to open, providing condominiums comply with the following:
- Users must be able to maintain a 2-metre distance;
- Capacity must be reduced to:
- Indoors – 50% of normal capacity;
- Outdoors – 75% of normal capacity.
- Signage is visible to the public that states the maximum capacity;
- Users must be screened for COVID-19 prior to using the amenity;
- Tracing information of the users must be recorded and kept for a period of one (1) month; and
- Regularly clean and disinfect any equipment that is available to users, as frequently as necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
Step 3 will allow the reopening of changing rooms and showers. In the event that a condominium is considering re-opening these amenities, it must ensure that the areas are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition. It is important to remember that condominiums are not obligated to and have the discretion as to whether it opens the indoor amenities or not.
Safety plans are required for:
- Recreational fitness facilities;
- Pool and other water features;
- Recreational amenities and multi-purpose amenities.
A Safety Plan should describe how the requirements under the regulation will be implemented, including but not limited to, screening, physical distancing, masks or face coverings, cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects, the wearing of protective equipment and crowd controls. The plan should be in writing, available on demand and should be posted in a place where all users can clearly see it.
Condominiums must continue to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the advice, recommendations and instructions from Public Health Officials.
Condominiums should continue to take additional precautions when reopening its amenities.
If your condominium is considering reopening its amenities, please refer to our previous COVID-19 Bulletins, which contain information on recommended protocols and procedures to be implemented when condominiums reopen its amenities.
Please ensure that you speak with legal counsel if your condominium does not already have COVID-19 protocols and policies in place to help manage the risks associated with COVID-19. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact anyone on our team.