Yesterday the Province of Ontario announced new measures to combat COVID-19 and issued a provincial declaration of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
OTA reported on these developments. Since then, OTA continued to seek guidance on what this means for our industry. Below is a summary of the most up-to-date information OTA received. Carriers should note that this information itself has changed since the announcement yesterday and may continue to change as the province provides direction and clarification. OTA will update developments accordingly.
For the time being, OTA is directing members to seek additional information here, which includes a more detailed outline of the information contained below.
What is happening?
There will be a combination of measures that come into effect between Tuesday January 12, 2021 and Thursday, January 14, 2021, including a provincial declaration of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, orders under that Act, and amendments to regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020. The enhanced public health and workplace safety measures are in effect for all of Ontario and are anticipated to be in place until at least Thursday, February 11, 2021.
(Updated) General Public Health Measures for all Businesses, Organizations and Facilities
Public Health Advice, Recommendations and Instructions: Businesses or organizations must operate in compliance with the advice, recommendations, and instructions of public health officials, including any advice, recommendations or instructions on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting, and working remotely. Check with your local public health unit for any additional advice, recommendations or instructions.
Work from Home Except Where Necessary: Each person responsible for a business or organization that is open shall ensure that any person who performs work for the business or organization conducts their work remotely, with limited exception, for instance, where the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace.
Physical Distancing and Line Management: Businesses or places must not permit patrons to line up inside the businesses or place, or to line up or congregate outside of the business or place unless they are maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons and wearing a mask or face covering that covers their mouth, nose and chin unless they are entitled to an exception set out in the regulation.
Screening: Businesses or organizations must operate in compliance with the advice, recommendations instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening individuals. This includes: Workplaces must screen any workers or essential visitors entering the work environment. See the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces for more information.
Personal Protective Equipment, including Eye Protection: Personal protective equipment that provides protection of the eyes, nose, and mouth, is required if a worker is required to come within 2 metres of another person who is not wearing a face covering and not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
Capacity Limits: All businesses or facilities must limit capacity so that every member of the public is able to maintain two metres of physical distancing from every other person; and limit the number of people occupying any room that is open to the public to 50% capacity of the particular room. Some businesses or facilities have additional capacity restrictions that apply beyond the general capacity requirements. All businesses or facilities that engage in retail sales to the public must post a sign in a location visible to the public that states the maximum capacity they are permitted to operate under.
- The maximum number of persons permitted in a business or facility that is operating at 50 per cent capacity is determined by taking the total square metres of floor space accessible to the public in the business or facility, not including shelving and store fixtures, dividing that number by eight and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.
- The maximum number of persons permitted in a business or facility that is operating at 25 per cent capacity is determined by taking the total square metres of floor space accessible to the public in the business or facility, not including shelving and store fixtures, dividing that number by 16 and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.
Cleaning and Disinfection: Businesses or places that are open shall ensure that equipment, washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers that are accessible to the public are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
Face Coverings: Businesses or organizations must ensure that masks or face coverings are worn by any person (including members of the public and workers) in the indoor area of the business or organization, with limited exceptions.
Safety Plans: Requirement for all businesses open to prepare and make available a COVID-19 safety plan. A copy of the plan shall be made available to any person for review upon request, and be posted where it would come to the attention of individuals working in or attending the business.
(UPDATED) Businesses Permitted to Open and Sector Specific Restrictions
- Businesses and facilities that provide transportation services, including: Transportation services provided by air, water, road, and rail, including taxis and other private transportation providers, and o Support services for transportation services, including:
▪ logistical support, distribution services, warehousing and storage, truck stops and tow operators, and services that support the operations and safety of transportation systems including maintenance and repairs.
▪ Marinas, boating clubs and other organizations that maintain docking facilities for members or patrons with conditions;▪ Businesses that provide and support online retail, including by providing warehousing, storage and distribution of goods that are ordered online.
More information on the provincial declaration can be found here, including a full list of businesses permitted to open and sector specific restrictions. Transportation services is list on Page 21.