Le vendredi 16 avril 2021, le gouvernement provincial de l'Ontario a annoncé la mise en Suvre de mesures supplémentaires afin de réduire la propagation de la COVID-19.

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On Friday, April 16, 2021, the provincial government of Ontario announced the implementation of additional measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Notable restrictions for employers are as follows:

  • extension of the provincial "stay at home" order until at least May 20, 2021;
  • increased focus by the Ministry of Labour on workplace inspections and enforcement of existing restrictions, including safety protocols within workplaces and ensuring that employees are working remotely if possible;
  • restricted interprovincial travel by land between Ontario and its neighboring provinces of Manitoba and Quebec (with associated checkpoints at borders);
  • closure of non-essential construction, including construction at shopping malls, hotels and office towers;
  • reduced capacity for retail stores permitted to remain open to 25%; and
  • closure of certain outdoor amenities such as golf courses, basketball courts, etc.

Employers that operate essential businesses should consider providing employees with authorization letters stating that the workplace is essential and that the employee must attend at the workplace (i.e. is not able to work remotely), in the event that the employee is stopped while commuting to or from work.  Employees should be instructed to carry their identification with them while commuting.

Employers should also revisit their safety plans and COVID polices, practices and protocols, as the Minister of Labour has announced that all workplaces that continue to operate are suitable for inspection (including traditional office environments). 

These additional restrictions increased enforcement measures are a forceful reminder to employers to ensure that their organizations are following all required COVID-19 and public health measures, and to revisit their assessment of their practices and policies (including whether remote work for certain employees is possible, rather than preferable). 

Note: While the announcement initially stated that playgrounds would be closed and that police and bylaw officers would have increased authority to stop people to confirm their reasons for being outside their homes, the Government announced on April 17, 2021 that it had decided not to proceed with those measures.

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