Coronavirus | Health & Safety | Independent Retailers | Ontario | Store Operations

Ontario extends retail shutdown until June 15, 2021 in new reopening framework

May 20, 2021

See RCC’s Campaign to support safe reopening in Ontario

Ontario announced today a new reopening framework, moving away from the regionalized colour code approach.

This new framework is province-wide in scope, in an effort to avoid regional discrepancies and movement by citizens between municipalities. Instead of being grounded in new case figures, and virus reproduction rates, each of the three phases of the new framework are grounded in metrics that include vaccination rates.

Ontario has shared that based on vaccination supply, and current vaccination rates, and other medical trends, the first stage is likely to begin on June 15, 2021. Retailers with external facing entrances will reopen as a part of Stage 1.

In order to prevent a fourth wave, the Stage 1 reopening will have tighter capacity rules than the previous colour code framework:

  • Grocery and Pharmacy open at 25% capacity (which, is calculated by dividing unincumbered sales floor by 16mor 172 sq ft);
  • Discount and Big Box selling grocery open at 25% capacity – ability to sell all products (e.g. including products formally identified as “non-essential”);
  • Non-essential retail with an external facing entrance may reopen at 15% capacity (which, is calculated by dividing unincumbered sales floor by 26.67mor 287 sq ft), and;
  • Non-essential retail inside a mall (no external entrance) remains closed.

If you’d like to calculate store occupancy, please use RCC’s updated store capacity calculator.

In Stage 2, which begins in early July (RCC estimating July 6, 2021), capacity for retail increases to 25% for non-essential, and 50% for essential. In early August, Stage 3 would see further capacity increases.

It is unclear at this time when retailers inside a mall will reopen.

This means that all public health and workplace safety measures under the province-wide emergency shutdown will remain in effect until that re-opening. For retail, this specifically means the continued closure of retail termed ‘non-essential’ and continued roping off of products deemed non-essential in big box and discount stores selling grocery.

Click here for an expanded image of the Province’s staged reopening.

RCC Calls on Government to Reopen Retail June 2, 2021.

Both the data and the science support the notion that retail is safe – safe for employees and safe for customers. Ontario is the only province in Canada, and only jurisdiction in North America which continues to keep retail doors locked to the public.

Click here to see RCC’s press release calling for further reopening. In the days ahead, we will be launching a communications and media campaign. RCC will be in touch shortly to provide more details on how members can become engaged with this campaign. 

Pour en savoir plus, veuillez communiquer avec :

Sebastian Prins
Directeur, Relations gouvernementales (Ontario)
sprins@retailcouncil.org
416 467-3759

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