As property managers or board members for a condominium, it can be complicated to follow the ever-changing provincial COVID-19 restrictions in your specific region. Yet it is important for you to ensure that unit owners, employees, and third parties comply with the applicable restrictions.
The provincial government announced on February 8, 2021 that in light of reduced COVID-19 transmission rates, regions are now beginning to transition from stringent restrictions under the stay-at-home order back to the more flexible colour-coded framework. Further details were released on February 12, 2021.
The Colour-Coded Framework
The colour-coded rules, in order of the least to the most strict are: green (prevent), yellow (protect), orange (restrict), red (control) and grey (lockdown)1 . To find out what colour zone your specific region is in, you can refer to Schedule 1, 2 and 3 of the most updated version of the Stages of Reopening Regulation under the Reopening Ontario (a Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
All regions with the exception of York, Peel, Toronto and North Bay Parry Sound will return to the colour-coded framework by February 16, 2021. These regions are expected to return on February 22, 2021 but have not yet been designated to a particular colour zone. This information is based on a news release from the Province dated February 12, 2021 as the amended regulation is not yet available at the time of writing. The regions under each colour have been designated as follows:
- Grey (lockdown): Niagara Region
- Red (control): Chatham-Kent; City of Hamilton; Durham Region; Halton Region; Middlesex-London; Waterloo Region; Simcoe-Muskoka; Southwestern; Thunder Bay; Wellington-Dufferin Guelph; and WindsorEssex County
- Orange (restrict): Brant County; Eastern Ontario; Haldimand-Norfolk; Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge; Huron Perth; Lambton; Ottawa; Porcupine; and Sudbury
- Yellow (protect): Algoma; Grey Bruce; Northwestern; and Peterborough
- Green (prevent): Hastings Prince Edward; Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington; Leeds, Grenville and Lanark; Renfrew County; and Timiskaming
What this means for Condominiums
As regions move back to the colour-coded framework, condominiums should be aware of relevant restrictions that affect day-to-day operations of the condominium including but not limited to changes to gym re-opening limits and gathering limits. The following is just a brief sampling of some of the most applicable restrictions affecting condominiums. Of course, reference should be made to the entire regulation prior to making decisions relating to the COVID-19 restrictions.
- No persons shall attend an organized public event or social gathering, including ones that are associated with a wedding, funeral, religious service, rite or ceremony held at a condominium building, if more than 5 persons indoors or 10 persons outdoors are in attendance, subject to mandatory mask usage and following public health guidance on physical distancing.
- Gyms may open as long as a physical distance of three metres is maintained in areas containing weights or exercise machines.
- No more than 10 persons are permitted in such areas at one time.
- Any locker rooms, change rooms and showers must remain closed.
- Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between each use.
- Condominiums must ensure that a safety plan is prepared and made available.
- A record of names and contact information of every person who enters the gym must be kept
- and records maintained for a period of at least one month.
- Individuals must make reservations and can only be in the gym for 90 minutes at a time.
- Music must not be played beyond the level where normal conversation is possible.
Yellow and Orange Zone
- No persons shall attend an organized public event or social gathering, including ones that are associated with a wedding, funeral, religious service, rite or ceremony held at a condominium building, if more than 10 persons indoors or 25 persons outdoors are in attendance, subject to mandatory mask usage and following public health guidance on physical distancing.
- Gyms may open as long as a physical distance of two metres is maintained, and the total number of persons permitted in the gym at one time is limited to allow for physical distancing of two metres, while not exceeding 50 persons. However, three metre distancing is required when using weights and exercise machines.
- Individuals may only be in the gym for 90 minutes at a time in the orange zone (no limit in the yellow zone).
- The same safety plan, record keeping, reservation, equipment cleaning, and music rules described in the red zone also apply here.
- The same gathering limits described in the yellow and orange zones also apply here.
- Gyms may open as long as a physical distance of two metres is maintained, and the total number of persons permitted in the gym at one time is the same limit that applies to the yellow and orange zones.
- The same equipment cleaning and music rules described in the red zone also apply here.
Frequent developments in the zone changes should be kept in mind and as such, condominiums should seek legal advice when making decisions that could relate to the COVID-19 restrictions.
1 Further details on the colour-coded rules can be referenced clicking on each colour.
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.