Everything you need to know about retail reopening in Ontario

Feb 8 2021, 11:27 am

Ontario’s Stay at Home orders will not be implemented across the province for long.

On Monday, Premier Doug Ford announced that the orders will be implemented in 28 regions until February 16. And in two weeks, on February 22, they will end in Toronto, York, and Peel region.

When it is safe to do so, the province will gradually transition each region from the shutdown measures to a revised and updated COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open.

Remember the colour-coded zones? Well, those are coming back.

The colour-coded framework included five different zones: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Grey-Lockdown.

The government updated the framework to allow for “a safer approach to retail.”

The two zones that have the most significant updates for retail are the Grey-Lockdown and the Red-Control levels.

Changes to the Grey-Lockdown Zone

In-person shopping in Grey-Lockdown zones will now be limited to 25% capacity in most retail settings, and stores must post their capacity limit publicly.

Grocery stores will stay the same at 50% capacity.

Grey zone curbside pick-up and delivery are permitted.

Stores must have passive screening for patrons such as signs posted outside the storefront about not entering if they have

However, this does not apply to indoor malls, which will have to conduct screening in accordance with instructions by the office of the chief medical officer of health.

Individuals must physically distance and wear a face covering, with some exceptions.

“No loitering in shopping malls, and stores within the malls [are] subject to appropriate retail measures,” the province added.

Changes in the Red-Control Zone

In the Red-Control zones there can be 75% capacity for convenience stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, and other stores that primarily sell groceries.

And then 50% capacity for all other retail, including but not limited to discount and big-box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres.

Stores must also post their capacity limit publicly and have passive screening for patrons. Similarly to the Grey zone, this does not apply to indoor malls, which will have to conduct screening in accordance with instructions by the office of the chief medical officer of health.

Those in the Red or Grey zones should only leave their homes for essential purposes, such as work, school, grocery shopping, exercise, and medical appointments.

For the other three zones, the rules have been updated so that stores must have passive screening for patrons. This will not apply to indoor malls, which will have to conduct screening in accordance with instructions by the office of the chief medical officer of health.

The provincial government is also asking that a safety plan be prepared and made available upon request.

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