Ontario announced today that, due to increasing COVID-19 cases, new restrictions will be put into place as of Wednesday, January 5 at 12:01am.
Retailers (with the exception of retailers with indoor dining) are not impacted by the new restrictions, and will remain at 50% capacity (click here for RCC’s capacity calculator).
Some of the new restrictions of note for retailers are:
- Requiring businesses to ensure employees are working remotely unless the nature of the work requires them to be on-site;
- All indoor dining, including mall food courts and retailers with restaurants, will be closed;
- Closure of cinemas, concert venues, and theatres;
- Reduced social gathering limits to 5 people indoors and 10 people outdoors, and;
- Closing indoor meeting and event spaces (with exceptions for outdoor spaces, with restrictions), among other restrictions.
A full list of measures can be found in the news release.
Of major impact to many retail employees, Ontario schools will be closed to in person learning until January 17, 2022. The federal Temporary Income Support for Workers and Parents program is available for parents with children who require supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income. This program can provide up to $900 bi-weekly in support.
RCC continues to actively engaging with the province and major municipalities (who have the ability to impose tighter restrictions than the province, using by-laws and health orders) to stress the relative safety retail environments.