Today the Ontario government announced that regions will gradually transition back to the colour-coded COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open between February 10 and February 22, subject to review of the trends in public health indicators. Until a region returns to the framework, the shutdown and the Stay-at-Home order still apply in that area.
The current declared provincial state of emergency will expire at 11:59 p.m. on February 9, 2021. The following three regions will be moving back to the Framework at the Green-Prevent level on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. and will no longer be subject to the Stay-at-Home order:
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health;
- Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health; and
- Renfrew County and District Health Unit.
The Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply to the remaining public health regions until Tuesday, February 16, 2021, with the exception of Peel, Toronto and York.
For Toronto, Peel and York regions, the Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply until Monday, February 22, 2021. Final decisions will be subject to review of the trends in public health indicators at that time.
O. Reg. 82/20 has not yet been updated to reflect the changes announced today.
You can read the full announcement here.
Please visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions for the full list of public health region classifications.
Changes to Retail – Revised Grey-Lockdown Zone
The government has also made changes to the Grey Zone framework to permit in-person shopping in retail stores with some restrictions, in the Grey-Lockdown zone.
The major amendments include:
- 50% capacity limit for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies.
- 25% capacity limit for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres.
- In the Red-control zone, those limits will shift to 75 per cent and 50 per cent capacity, respectively.
These changes are subject to the regulation being updated.
Enforcement of residential evictions will remain paused in the public health unit regions where the provincial Stay-at-Home order remains in effect. Once the Stay-at-Home order is lifted, the regular process for residential eviction enforcement will resume.
Emergency Orders and Emergency Brake
Orders currently in force under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) have been extended to February 23, 2021 and will be extended further if necessary. The 31 orders under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) will continue once the emergency declaration expires. The expiry date for current ROA orders will remain as February 19 and may be extended for up to 30 days.
Ontario is also introducing an “emergency brake” to allow for a public health unit to be moved immediately into the “grey-lockdown” classification if a public health unit region experiences rapid acceleration in COVID-19 transmission or if the local health system becomes overwhelmed.
Counsel will continue to monitor key COVID-19 related announcements across the country.
If you have any questions on today’s announcement in Ontario please contact Caroline Pinto at email@example.com.