Provincial Shutdown for 4 Weeks on April 3, 2021

Today the provincial government announced they will be enacting the Emergency Brake. On Saturday April 3, 2021 at 12:01am the province will be entering a province-wide Shutdown for 4 weeks. Read the post.
To begin, I’d like to be clear that The Chamber Network strongly believes public health and a healthy economy are interdependent. I am always so proud of our business community’s resolve to keep our community safe during this uncertain time. At the same time, it is clear that frustration continues to grow amongst the business community amid third wave.
Rest assured that The Chamber Network continues to call for clear communications and ongoing business support. We continue to call for clarity on concrete milestones that trigger lockdown or extension. Clear and consistent communication and guidelines will be critical determinants of the plan’s, and by extension Ontario’s, success.We understand there is no easy on or off switch for employers; the lack of predictability and clarity in government decisions makes it difficult for businesses to plan effectively and invest in the necessary infrastructure for a safe re-opening.
The Ontario Chamber Network is also calling for all levels of government to work together to inoculate Ontarians.The sooner the population is inoculated, the sooner we can restart the economy. Businesses will be critical in supporting public awareness, logistical capabilities, and best practices. We are calling on the government to leverage private sector to support vaccine distribution and deployment.
A few important notes about this shut down:
  • Essential retail are permitted to open at 50% capacity
  • Non-essential retail are permitted to open at 25% capacity
  • Restaurants are permitted to open for take out, drive-through, and delivery only
  • All workers that can work remote are to do so
  • Personal care services are not permitted to open
  • Sports and recreational fitness facilities are not permitted to open
  • Short term rentals are only to be provided only to individuals who are need of housing.
  • This requirement does not apply with respect to hotels, motels, lodges, resorts and other shared rental accommodation, including student residences, but does apply with respect to cabins and cottages.
  • Hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, cottages, resorts and other shared rental accommodation, including student residences, can operate as long as they meet the following condition:
  • Any indoor pools, communal steam rooms, saunas or whirlpools, indoor fitness centres, or other indoor recreational facilities that are part of the operation of these businesses, are closed.
As always, we recommend that everyone familiarize themselves with the new Shutdown restrictions by visiting the HKPR Health Unit’s website and reach out to the health unit if you have questions. In particular, we found resources outlining which business are permitted to open and which are not permitted to open very helpful. You can also find information on the Ontario website.
Below you will find a number of resources to help your business including links to Business Grants and Supports. We’ve also included a link to check the status of your Ontario Small Business Grant Application as well. Information on the Tourism grants is yet to be released however we will keep you up to date.
Other COVID-19 Resources
Requirements for All Open Businesses
All open businesses must ensure they are following the below requirements:
  • screen employees (you may use the covid 19 screening tool)
  • post signs at all entrances informing people how to screen themselves for COVID-19 before entering (see COVID-19 Signage Questions for Businesses and Organizations)
  • limit capacity so guests can stay at least 2 metres apart
  • make sure anyone indoors wears a mask or face covering, including workers who have to come within 2 metres of anyone else (with some exceptions)
  • make sure workers use personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects their eyes, nose and mouth when they have to come within 2 metres of anyone who is not wearing a mask or face covering or separated by plexiglass
  • clean and disinfect often-touched surfaces, such as equipment, washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms and showers frequently
  • manage line ups to make sure customers are at least two metres apart and wearing face coverings or masks
  • create a safety plan, post it in a place where workers and patrons will see it and have it available upon request
If you have any questions about this or other resources, don’t hesitate to reach out or contact the HKPR Health Unit.

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