Ontario is well into the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and our collective hopes for a relatively normal summer are growing dimmer by the day. In an effort to prevent the total collapse of our healthcare system, the Ford government has, once again, announced additional public health measures to flatten the curve. Predictably, the stay at home order has been extended for an additional two weeks, taking us to at least May 20th.

Further categories of restrictions are outlined below.

Interprovincial Travel

Beginning on Monday, April 19th, Ontario will limit interprovincial travel from Manitoba and Quebec to those travelers entering Ontario for work, medical care, the transportation of goods, and exercising indigenous treaty rights.

Outdoor Gatherings

Beginning on Saturday, April 17th, all outdoor social gatherings and organized public events will be prohibited, except with members of the same household. As has previously been the case, individuals who live alone are permitted to gather with one other household.

Outdoor recreational activities such as golf courses, basketball courts and playgrounds will be closed.


Capacity limits for in-person shopping in all retail settings where in person shopping is permitted, including supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores and stores that primarily sell food and pharmaceutical products, will be limited to 25 per cent capacity. Curbside pickup is still permitted.

Non-essential stores must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m.

Places of Worship

Beginning on Monday, April 19th, capacity at weddings, funerals and religious services will be limited to 10 people whether indoors or outdoors.

Non-essential Construction

Non-essential construction is also set to shut down, including construction at shopping malls, hotels and office towers. It remains to be seen whether the list of "essential construction" is defined as broadly as it was in 2020.

Enforcement Measures

Police officers will now have the authority to require people to provide their home address and purpose for not being at their residence. Police will also have the authority to stop a vehicle to inquire about an individual's reason for leaving their residence.

Manufacturing and Warehousing

Notably, there are no new restrictions with respect to the manufacturing sector which has been identified as a driver of workplace transmission.

Working from Home

The province has again directly that anyone who can work from home, must work from home. Employers can expect increased inspections of offices to ensure only essential workers are present.

Takeaway for Employers

Ultimately, the best practices for ensuring workplace health and safety remain unchanged – increased sanitization, excellent hand hygiene, mask wearing, and physical distancing. Employers must make sure that they remain diligent in enforcing all COVID-19 safety protocols for those employees who cannot work from home.

The Official Regulation can be found HERE.

As always, the team at CCPartners will continue to update our readers and listeners on all other pertinent developments regarding benefits and legislative changes related to COVID-19 through our Employers' Edge Blog and Lawyers for Employers Podcast series.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.