The Ontario Government is imposing a province-wide emergency brake starting Saturday, April 3 for a duration of at least four weeks. The province-wide emergency brake would put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures to help to stop the rapid transmission of COVID-19 variants in communities, protect hospital capacity and save lives.
Measures include, but are not limited to:
- Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings and limiting the capacity for outdoor organized public events or social gatherings to a 5-person maximum, except for gatherings with members of the same household (the people you live with) or gatherings of members of one household and one other person from another household who lives alone.
- Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures;
- Prohibiting personal care services;
- Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take-out, drive-through, and delivery only;
- Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (e.g., gyms) with very limited exceptions;
- Requiring day camps to close; and,
- Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.
The current COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open, will be paused when the province-wide emergency brake comes into effect. The impacts of these time-limited measures will be evaluated throughout the next four weeks to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.
Ontario Small Business Support Grant Extended Until April 27
The Ontario government has extended applications for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The grant, first announced in December, provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 to eligible small businesses who have had to restrict their operations due to the Provincewide Shutdown. As part of the 2021 Ontario Budget, the provincial government has committed to providing a second round of Ontario Small Business Support Grant payments. If you’ve already received the first payment, you will NOT need to apply again to receive this additional funding.