Update on Ontario's Second State of Emergency Order – New Restrictions in Ontario in the Fight Against COVID-19 – Effective January 14, 2021

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On January 12, 2021, the Government of Ontario declared a second provincial emergency (the “Declaration”) which introduces additional restrictions in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19, including:

  • A limit of 5 people in outdoor organized public and social gatherings;
  • All individuals must wear masks or face coverings inside businesses or organizations that are open; masks and face coverings are recommended outdoors when you cannot physically distance more than 2 metres;
  • All nonessential stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and other stores offering curbside pickup or delivery may only be open between the hours of 7 AM–8 PM; these restrictions do not apply to stores that sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery;
  • Items may only be provided for curbside pickup if the patron ordered the item before arriving at the business premises;
  • Any stores that are permitted to be open must comply with physical distancing and face-covering rules;
  • Nonessential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction. However, some construction activities are permitted, including land surveying and demolition services;
  • No in-class instruction until Feb. 10 at the earliest for the following public health units: Windsor-Essex, Peel Region, Toronto, York Region, and Hamilton;
  • All businesses must ensure any employee who can work remotely do so, unless, for example, the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace; and
  • Everyone is required to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health services, for exercise or for essential work.

These measures will come into effect between Tuesday, January 12 and Thursday, January 14, 2021. The stay-at-home order will come into effect at 12:01 AM on Thursday, January 14, 2021. These measures will remain in place until at least February 11, 2021.

A copy of the Ontario Government’s full press release can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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