Ontario moves to 50% Capacity as of Sunday, December 19 at 12:01am - Retail Council of Canada
Coronavirus | Health & Safety | Ontario | Store Operations

Ontario moves to 50% Capacity as of Sunday, December 19 at 12:01am

December 20, 2021

In response to the rapidly-spreading and highly transmissible Omicron variant, the Ontario government announced province-wide restrictions, including on retail and restaurant capacity and social gathering limits. These measures come into effect as of 12:01am, Sunday, December 19, 2021.

Ontario is introducing a 50 per cent capacity limit in the following indoor public settings:

  • All Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies – all retail at 50% capacity regardless of category);
  • Shopping malls;
  • Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments;
  • Personal care services;
  • Personal physical fitness trainers, and;
  • Indoor recreational amenities, among other things.

Please note: RCC was engaged in discussion with officials on an hour-to-hour basis, and managed to secure a preferred capacity calculation model. The Ontario Government has confirmed that, instead of using the old ‘sales floor less fixtures’ model, Ontario will now be calculating store capacity as 50% of maximum occupant load as per fire code. By using fire code, retailers should have a significantly higher in store capacity than using the previous model. Ontario has also confirmed for RCC that employees will continue to not count towards the 50% capacity limit (e.g. customers only for store capacity)

Maximum capacity and passive screening of patrons questions will need to be posted at the front of store. In addition, the previous requirements on posting safety plans, as well as the previous requirements around increased cleaning of frequently touched areas are back in place. Additional updates are still coming in on this new policy. RCC does not have sightlines into all of the components to be implemented for Sunday, however, we will keep members up to date as we know more.

RCC will be updating its capacity calculator to reflect Ontario’s new capacity calculation approach.