Implementing additional public health measures to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19
Protecting the health and well-being of the people of Ontario is our PC government’s first priority.
Over the past several weeks, we have seen alarming public health trends with the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 rising, hospitalization rates are growing, and community outbreaks are entering our nursing homes and vulnerable congregate settings.
“With the weather changing and more people moving indoors, the decision to introduce new restrictions on restaurants, gyms and other businesses was difficult. However, we will do whatever is necessary, acting on the advice of our public health experts, to turn the tide on this second wave and keep everyone safe,” said Doug Ford, MPP for Etobicoke North and Premier of Ontario
That’s why in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Measures Table, and local medical officers of health and other health experts, we have made the difficult, but necessary decision to tighten public health measures as follows:
- Mandating the use of face coverings in all public indoor settings across the province;
- Pausing any further reopening of businesses, facilities, and organizations for an additional 28 days; and,
- Pausing social circles and advising that all Ontarians allow close contact only with people living in their own household.
Targeted measures will also be implemented in Ottawa, Peel, Toronto (as of October 10) and York Region (as of October 19) as a result of their higher than average rates of transmission, including:
- Reducing limits for all social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors;
- Prohibiting indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, including nightclubs and food court areas in malls;
- Closing of indoor gyms and fitness centres (e.g., yoga studios, dance studios); casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; cinemas; performing arts centres and venues; spectator areas in racing venues; interactive exhibits or exhibits with high risk of personal contact in museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, etc.;
- Prohibiting personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service;
- Reducing the capacity limits for tour and guide services, real estate open houses, meeting and event spaces, and in-person teaching and instruction (e.g., cooking class,), with exemptions for schools, child care centres, universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, private career colleges, the Ontario Police College, etc.
- Limiting team sports to training sessions (no games or scrimmages).
These modified Stage 2 restrictions will be for a minimum of 28 days and reviewed on an ongoing basis.
As these necessary public health measures come at a cost to small businesses, our PC government will make $300 million available to assist significantly affected businesses with fixed costs, including property taxes, hydro and natural gas bills.
These are difficult, but necessary decisions that are being made to keep people safe, especially our seniors and vulnerable citizens. We will do whatever is necessary, acting on the advice of our public health experts, to turn the tide on this second wave and keep everyone safe. For additional protection, the Ontario government is encouraging everyone to download the new COVID Alert app on their smart phone from the Apple and Google Play app stores.