Last updated: November 20, 2020 5:06 PM
Today, the Premier of Ontario announced further regionally-based restrictions to stem the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions will impact many OREA members and their businesses.
I know updates from the government about COVID-19 can be confusing. That’s why at OREA we are working hard to take weekly announcements and boil them down to what Members need to know to stay safe.
Here’s what you need to know.
Ontario’s COVID-19 Framework
Ontario’s COVID-19 Framework
Ontario’s management of COVID-19 is based upon the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. The framework categorizes public health unit regions into five levels: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown being a measure of last and urgent resort. Each level outlines the types of public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations. These include targeted measures for specific sectors, institutions, and other settings. Please find a visual of this below.
For real estate, the Province has prohibited real estate open houses in Red-Control and Lockdown. If your region is entering those levels, you are restricted under the Framework from hosting an open house.
While some businesses in areas going into Lockdown must close, real estate is considered, under Provincial rules, an essential service. Therefore, real estate businesses in regions under Lockdown can continue to operate provided they follow the direction of public health officials. This is something OREA asked the Province to maintain so that Members can work with their clients to complete transactions.
Lastly, real estate brokerage offices and board offices must continue to adhere to requirements for workplace screening and for face coverings at indoor workplaces at all five levels of the Province’s framework. For additional information on today’s announcement please click here.
New Public Health Unit Region Classifications
As of Monday, November 23rd at 12:01 a.m. the Province will move several regions to different levels inside the framework to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The regions marked with an * indicates regions that will be moving into a new level.
Here are the highlights:
- Toronto and Peel will move into the Lockdown level;
- Durham Region and Region of Waterloo will move into Red-Control;
- York Region, Halton and Hamilton remain in Red-Control; and,
- Ottawa moves back into Orange-Restrict.
Please see the full list below.
- Toronto Public Health; and
- Peel Public Health.
- Durham Region Health Department*
- City of Hamilton Public Health Services
- Halton Region Public Health
- Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services*
- York Region Public Health
- Brant County Health Unit
- Huron Perth Public Health*
- Niagara Region Public Health
- Ottawa Public Health
- Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit*
- Southwestern Public Health*
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit*
- Chatham-Kent Public Health*
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit*
- Grey Bruce Health Unit*
- Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
- Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health*
- Middlesex-London Health Unit
- Peterborough Public Health*
- Public Health Sudbury and Districts
- Thunder Bay District Health Unit*
- Algoma Public Health
- Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
- Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Public Health
- Lambton Public Health
- Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
- North Bay Parry Sound District
- Northwestern Health Unit
- Porcupine Health Unit
- Renfrew County and District Health Unit
- Timiskaming Health Unit
Help Stop the Spread
We are in a very critical time in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Case counts are increasing in many regions across our Province and our hospital resources are being stretched dangerously thin.
As leaders in your communities, REALTORS® must help stop the spread of the virus by following all rules laid out by public health officials.
When it comes to doing business, OREA continues to urge Members to use virtual tools first and to the greatest extent possible. Instead of open houses, Members are encouraged to use in-person showings by appointment for pre-qualified clients, following public health guidelines.
If a client insists on doing an open house and they are permitted in your region, then please follow all health and safety guidelines including limiting the number of people inside the home at any one time. See OREA’s guidance document for more information.
More Information About Lockdown in Peel & Toronto
As was mentioned, the government intends to move Peel Public Health and Toronto Public Health into Lockdown effective Monday, November 23, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. This action is being taken to help stop the spread of COVID-19, while prioritizing the continued opening of schools, child care centres and other key services to the fullest extent possible.
Measures under Lockdown include, but are not limited to:
- Schools, before and after school programs, and child care will remain open;
- Post-secondary schools open for virtual learning with some limited exceptions for training that can only be provided in-person, such as clinical training or training related to a trade;
- No indoor organized public events or social gatherings except with members of the same household. Individuals who live alone, including seniors, may consider having exclusive, close contact with one other person;
- Outdoor organized public events or social gatherings limited to a maximum of 10 people;
- Wedding services, funeral services and religious services, rites or ceremonies where physical distancing can be maintained can have up to 10 people indoors or 10 people outdoors;
- Retail permitted to be open for curbside pick-up or delivery only, with certain exceptions such as for supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, discount and big box retailers selling groceries, beer, wine and liquor stores, safety supply stores, and convenience stores, which will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity;
- Restaurants, bars, and food and drink establishments will only be able to provide takeout, drive-through and delivery. Indoor and outdoor dining services are prohibited;
- Personal care services closed;
- Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments closed; and
- Indoor sports and recreational facilities, including pools, closed with limited exceptions.
Thank you for showing outstanding resilience in adapting to new and ever-changing regulations around safety protocols related to open houses. Let’s continue to keep our clients and communities safe by using technological alternatives first and as much as possible.
As always, thank you and stay safe everyone!
Disclaimer. The information contained in this email is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice by REALTORS®, or others. Members wishing further clarity or advice should seek independent legal advice specific to their circumstances. Due to the quickly changing regulatory environment during the COVID-19 emergency, this information may not be current or accurate by the time it is read.