A Quick Look at the New Restrictions and Rules Under Ontario’s New Colour-Coded COVID-19 Framework

**Updated to reflect Nov 20 announcement**

Ontario has rolled out a new colour-coded system Tuesday, November 3rd that will determine when and to what extent coronavirus restrictions are placed on parts of the province.

Areas with the lowest case counts, positivity rates and community transmission levels will fall into a green category, with the most permissive rules. The system then moves upward through yellow, orange and red categories, with increasingly strict measures, topped off by a grey “lockdown” level where maximum measures would be implemented.

The framework went into effect on November 6th, allowing restrictions previously placed on hot spots including Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa to lighten. The softer rules mean gyms and cinemas can reopen and indoor dining will resume — with capacity limits — following closures under “modified Stage 2” measures imposed on Oct. 10.

Changes effective November 23:

Ontario is moving the COVID-19 hot spots of Toronto and Peel Region into lockdown starting Monday. November 23. Chatham-Kent, Eastern Ontario, Grey Bruce, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington, Peterborough, and Thunder Bay District Health Units will be moved to the yellow zone; Huron Perth, Simcoe Muskoka, Southwestern, and Windsor-Essex County Health Units will be moved to the Orange zone; and Durham and Region of Waterloo Public Health Units will be moved into red zone starting November 23.

Public Health Unit Region Classifications

At the request of the local medical officer of health, and with the support of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health would remain in a modified Stage 2 until November 14, 2020.

Ontario is lowering the threshold effective November 16th, 12:01 a.m., thereby reducing the regions in the green zone andplacing more regions in the yellow, orange, and red zones.

Level: Grey – Lockdown

  1. Toronto Region starting Nov 23
  2. Peel Region starting Nov 23

Criteria include:

-Trends continue to worsen after red level rules imposed

Restrictions include:

-Return to widespread closures as laid out in Stage 1 of Ontario’s reopening plan

– Personal care services closed

– Indoor and outdoor dining services in restaurants and bars prohibited.

-Consider the declaration of emergency

Level: Green – Prevent

From November 16th – as per the new threshold:

  1. Algoma Public Health
  2. Chatham-Kent Public Health
  3. Grey Bruce Health Unit
  4. Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  5. Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Public Health
  6. Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health
  7. Lambton Public Health
  8. Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
  9. North Bay Parry Sound District
  10. Northwestern Health Unit
  11. Peterborough Public Health
  12. Porcupine Health Unit
  13. Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  14. Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  15. Timiskaming Health Unit

From November 23rd

  1. Algoma Public Health
  2. Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  3. Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Public Health
  4. Lambton Public Health
  5. Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
  6. North Bay Parry Sound District
  7. Northwestern Health Unit
  8. Porcupine Health Unit
  9. Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  10. Timiskaming Health Unit

Criteria include

-Weekly incidence rate is < 10 per 100,000

– % positivity is < 0.5

Restrictions include:

-At least two metres of space between tables in restaurants and bars

-Singing and performing allowed in bars and restaurants, as well as karaoke, but with restrictions

-Maximum of 50 people in indoor exercise classes or workout areas

-Retail fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls

-Steam rooms and saunas remain closed

Level: Yellow – Protect

From November 16th – as per the new threshold:

  1. Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  2. Huron Perth Public Health
  3. Middlesex-London Health Unit
  4. Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
  5. Public Health Sudbury and Districts
  6. Southwestern Public Health
  7. Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
  8. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

From November 23

  1. Chatham-Kent Public Health
  2. Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  3. Grey Bruce Health Unit
  4. Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  5. Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health
  6. Middlesex-London Health Unit
  7. Peterborough Public Health
  8. Public Health Sudbury and Districts
  9. Thunder Bay District Health Unit

Criteria include:

– Weekly incidence rate is 10 to 24.9 per 100,000

– % positivity is 0.5-1.2%

-Repeated outbreaks in multiple sectors or increasing number of large outbreaks

Restrictions include:

-All restrictions imposed under green level, plus additional measures

-Bars and restaurants can only stay open until midnight, can only sell or serve alcohol between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

-Volume of music must be limited in bars and restaurants, event spaces and retail locations

-Spacing between patrons in exercise classes or weight rooms must increase to three metres

Level: Orange – Restrict

From November 16th – as per the new threshold:

  1. Brant County Health Unit
  2. Durham Region Health Department
  3. Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  4. Niagara Region Public Health
  5. Ottawa Public Health
  6. Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  7. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

From November 23rd:

  1. Brant County Health Unit
  2. Huron Perth Public Health
  3. Niagara Region Public Health
  4. Ottawa Public Health
  5. Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
  6. Southwestern Public Health
  7. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
  8. Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

Criteria include:

– Weekly incidence rate is 25 to 39.9 per 100,000
– % positivity is 1.3-2.4%

-Repeated outbreaks in multiple sectors or increasing number of large outbreaks

Restrictions include:

-All restrictions imposed under yellow level, plus additional measures

-50-person indoor capacity limit for restaurants and bars, with no more than four seated together

-Bars and restaurants must close by 10 p.m.; strip clubs must close altogether

-Fitness facilities must screen patrons and limit the duration of their stay

-No personal care services requiring the removal of face coverings

Level: Red – Control

From November 16th – as per the new threshold:

  1. Hamilton Public Health Services
  2. Halton Region Public Health
  3. Peel Regional Health Unit
  4. Toronto Public Health
  5. York Region Public Health

From November 23

  1. Durham Region Health Department
  2. City of Hamilton Public Health Services
  3. Halton Region Public Health
  4. Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  5. York Region Public Health

Criteria include:

– Weekly incidence rate ≥ 40 per 100,000
– % positivity ≥ 2.5%

-Repeated outbreaks in multiple sectors or an increasing number of large outbreaks

Restrictions include:

-All restrictions imposed under orange level, with additional measures

-Maximum indoor capacity of 10 people in restaurants and bars

-No dancing, singing or performing with brass or wind instruments in restaurants and bars

-No more than 10 people allowed inside gyms or exercise classes, and no more than 25 for outdoor classes

-Closure of food courts in malls

– Social gathering 5 indoors

New Rules for Gatherings

Under the new colour coded system, the gathering limit continues to be 10 people indoors except in red zone where the indoor gathering is limited to 5 people (from Nov 23) and 25 people outdoors for certain organized public events and social gatherings. For public events it’s 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. The limit is 30% capacity for religious services with a maximum of 100 people can be inside if distancing can occur.

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Credit: Ontario.ca

Rules for Schools, Childcare, and Post-Secondary Institutions

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Credit: Ontario.ca

Rules for Restaurants, Bars, Food & Drink Establishments

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Credit: Ontario.ca

 

Rules for Sports and Recreational Facilities

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Credit: Ontario.ca

Rules for Meeting and Event Spaces

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Credit: Ontario.ca

Rules for Retail

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Credit: Ontario.ca

Rules for Personal Care Services

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Credit: Ontario.ca

Rules for Casinos, Bingo Halls, Gaming Establishments

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Credit: Ontario.ca

Rules for Cinemas

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Credit: Ontario.ca

Rules for Performing Arts Facilities

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Credit: Ontario.ca

— With Files from The Canadian Press

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