Today the Ontario government announced a second state of emergency and new restrictions to help stop the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
The new restrictions come into effect at 12:01am on Thursday, January 14th and include the following:
- A new stay-at-home order will take effect, meaning everyone should stay home, with the exception of leaving for essential purposes such as going to the grocery store, pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or essential work
- Students in Windsor-Essex, Peel Region, Toronto, York and Hamilton won’t be returning to in class learning until at least February 11th
- All businesses must ensure any employee who can work from home do so
- Outdoor gatherings have been restricted to 5 people
- Non-essential retail will only be allowed to open for curbside pickup between the hours of 7am to 8pm
- Non-essential construction will be further restricted.
Under the emergency measures, provincial and local police, bylaw officers and provincial workplace inspectors have the power to ticket those who don't comply with the stay-at-home order, those not complying with mask-wearing rules and retailers who don't enforce those rules.
In addition to the above, the Ministry of Labour and Skills Development has launched a new campaign named “Stay Safe All Day”, which will focus on workplace inspections in areas of high transmission, including break rooms, as well as providing educational materials to employers to promote safe behaviour.
Inspectors will focus on workplaces with reported COVID-19 outbreaks, manufacturing businesses, warehouses, distribution centers, food processing operations, construction projects and publicly accessible workplaces deemed essential, such as grocery stores.
Finally, each week 300,000 rapid COVID-19 tests will be provided to key sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing, supply chain and food procession, as well as additional tests for schools and long-term care homes.
If you have any questions about how these new restrictions will impact your business, please reach out to speak to an e2r® Advisor.