Ontario Government Announcement on COVID Restrictions

Ontario Government Announcement on COVID Restrictions

A lot of comprehensive, detailed information came out from the Ontario Government on November 3.

The government announced a new COVID-19 response framework, which colour codes different situations as it relates to COVID-19. The full document can be found here.

As of 12:01 AM this Saturday, November 7th, Ottawa and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit will be moving to stage Orange-RESTRICT in this new framework, which means:

Ontario will be implementing enhanced measures (compared to Stage 3), restrictions, and enforcement while avoiding any closures (screenshots of these are attached below)

Here are the sector-specific updates and changes:

    • General public health measures: all remaining at current restrictions
      • private gathering limits are set at 10 indoors, 25 outdoors
      • Public event limits are 50 indoors, 100 outdoors
      • Religious services, weddings, funerals, etc are at 30% indoor capacity, or 100 people outdoors
      • Mandatory masking
    • For restaurants, bars and food and drink establishments:
      • All establishments must close at 10 PM (new – used to be closing at midnight)
      • Liquor only served between 9 AM – 9 PM (new – used to be 9 AM – 11 PM)
      • Limit of 4 people may be seated together (new – used to be 6 people)
      • 50 person indoor capacity (new – expanded from 25)
      • Patrons must be seated 2m between tables
      • No buffet style service
      •  Require patron contact info, one per group
    • For sports and recreational fitness establishments:
      • Maximum 50 people per facility in all recreational facilities (new – changed from 50 indoor classes, 100 outdoor classes)
      • Screening of all patrons
      • 60 minute limit per patron duration of stay (exemption for sports)
      • No spectators (exemption for parents of children)
    • Retail
      • Current restrictions remain in effect, including mandatory masks.
      • Require screening of all patrons (new)
      • FOR CONSIDERATION DURING WINTER: limiting capacity, not yet finalized.
    • Meeting and event spaces:
      • Maximum 50 person per facility (new – used to be 50 people per room)
      • Limiting operating hours: establishments must close at 10 PM, alcohol served between 9 AM – 9 PM, 4 people must be seated together (new – additional restrictions)
    • Personal care services
      • PPE must be worn by staff/people providing services
      • Services requiring removal of masks prohibited (no change from current restrictions)
      • Screening of all patrons
      • Change rooms, showers, hot tubs, floating tubs, etc closed
    • Movie theatres and performance art facilities
      • Maximum 50 people per facility (new – used to be 50 people per room)
      • Liquor served between 9 AM – 9 PM
      • Screening of all patrons


Additional Support for Businesses

  • For the businesses in Ottawa that were required to close in modified stage 2, beginning November 16th, eligible businesses will be able to apply for temporary property tax and energy cost rebates directly to the province. More information here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs
  • The Federal rent assistance program is still in the works, and yet to be finalized, it was tabled in the House of Commons yesterday.
  • The provincial commercial rent evictions ban is also still in the works, currently in second reading in the legislature.


Monitoring Indicators:

Once Ottawa is moved to stage orange, the next phase is yellow, which will allow for more loosening of restrictions. Here are the monitoring indicators the government will be using to determine Ottawa can move to stage yellow:

  • Weekly incidence rate is between 10-39.9 cases per 100,000 (last week we were at 54)
  • % positivity is between 1-2.5% (on Oct 30th, we were at 3.6)
  • Reproductive number is 1 or below (as of today, 2.5)
  • Level of community transmission stable, and outbreaks are predictable sources
  • Hospital and health system capacity is adequate (we are currently in red, with 97% of acute beds occupied, 84% ICU beds occupied, 22% of ventilator beds occupied)
  • Public health case and contact follow up within 24h is adequate (87% of contacts are being reached in 24 hours)


Additional resources:

Full government press release from today

Slides from Press Release today

Ontario’s Fall Preparedness Plan

Ontario portal for businesses

Submitting a re-opening plan to the Government if your business has not been included in the reopening.