Today, the Ontario government has announced that it is applying the “emergency brake” by placing the entire province back into shutdown as of Saturday, April 3, for at least a month due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and intensive care admissions.
Measures include, but are not limited to:
- Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings and limiting the capacity for outdoor events or social gatherings to a 5-person maximum, except for gatherings with members of the same household;
- Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail, including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures;
- Prohibiting personal care services;
- Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take-out, drive-through, and delivery only;
- Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (e.g., gyms) with very limited exceptions;
- Requiring day camps to close; and
- Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.
During the emergency shutdown, schools will remain open for in-person learning with strict safety measures in place. The spring break will continue as planned for the week of April 12. In order to support working families, child care will remain open during the shutdown. It is important to note that currently, a “stay-at-home order” has not been enacted, as was the case earlier in the year.
For further sector specific public health and workplace safety measures applicable under the “emergency brake,” please click here.
What does this mean for Members and Real Estate?
Real estate continues to be considered an essential service. However, with the introduction of the “emergency brake” province-wide shutdown, which is temporarily replacing the colour-coded framework, we take this opportunity to remind Members of the following:
- In-person open houses are now prohibited across the entire province and must not take place at any time. This means you must also refrain from door knocking and canvassing neighbourhoods.
- In-person showings by appointment are permitted; however, we strongly advise you to use virtual tools where possible. Space out showings and limit the number of people at each showing.
- In-person showings should not be conducted in properties with occupants who are COVID-19 positive or in COVID-19 self-isolation. Showings should only be held in properties where it is safe to do so, and all public health measures must be followed.
Please review the provincial announcement for complete details. We will continue to update Members on any further developments.