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Summary of Ontario COVID-19 Announcement on Feb 8, 2021

Summary of Ontario COVID-19 Announcement on Feb 8, 2021

Summary of Ontario COVID-19 Announcement – Feb 8, 2021

On February 8, 2021, the Ontario government announced the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions in the province. As public health units gradually transition into the colour coded COVID-19 Response Framework, all non-essential retailers (e.g., discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores, and garden centres) will be permitted to re-open in all 5 colour coded zones with at least a 25% capacity, based on the following conditions:

  • industry specific capacity limits must be maintained and posted publicly;
  • a system must be in place for “patron screening”. “Patron screening” involves posting signs about not entering if you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.;
  • a “safety plan” must be prepared and available upon request; and
  • individuals must physically distance and wear a face covering at all times (with limited exceptions)

Effective February 10, 2021, three public health units (Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health, and Renfrew County and District Health Unit) will no longer be subject to the Stay-at-Home order and will move to the “green” colour coded zone. In the “green” zone, restaurants, recreational facilities, and non-essential businesses including personal care services will be allowed to reopen in accordance with the zone requirements as detailed in the COVID-19 Response Framework.

The remaining Ontario regions will remain under stay-at-home orders until at least February 16, 2021. In Toronto, Peel and York regions, however, the order is set to stay in effect until at least February 22, 2021.

Further loosening of restrictions and the movement of more Ontario Public Health Units into the “green”, “yellow”, “orange”, “red” and “grey” stages are expected to occur over the next few weeks, dependent on COVID-19 case numbers.