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

**Updated to reflect changes announced on February 19th**

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.

FYI:Ontario Postpones March Break Until Week of April 12th

 

Public Health Unit Region Classifications


Update Feb 19th:

  • Toronto and Peel Public Health Regions, and the North Bay-Parry Sound District to continue with stay-at-home order at least until March 8th.
  • York Region Public Health will be moving back to the Framework at the Red-Control level and will no longer be subject to the Stay-at-Home order on Monday, February 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.
  • Lambton Public Health will be moving from the Orange-Restrict level to the Red-Control level on Monday, February 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. as a result of worsening public health trends in the region over the past week.

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Credit: Ontario.ca/ Regions under Colour-Coded COVID-19 Framework from Feb 22 to 28, 2021

 

Level: Green – Prevent

 

Effective February 16, 2021

  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health;
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health; and
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit.
  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit;
  • 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

Effective Feb 16th:

  • Algoma Public Health;
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit;
  • Northwestern Health Unit;
  • Peterborough Public Health.

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

Effective Feb 16th:

  • Brant County Health Unit;
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit;
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit;
  • Huron Perth Public Health;
  • Lambton Public Health;
  • Ottawa Public Health;
  • Porcupine Health Unit;
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts.

Effective Feb 22nd:

  • Brant County Health Unit;
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit;
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit;
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit;
  • Huron Perth Public Health;
  • Ottawa Public Health;
  • Porcupine Health Unit;
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts.

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

Effective Feb 16th:

  • Chatham-Kent Public Health;
  • City of Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Durham Region Health Department;
  • Halton Region Public Health;
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit;
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services;
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit;
  • Southwestern Public Health;
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit;
  • Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public Health;
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

Effective Feb 22nd:

  • Chatham-Kent Public Health;
  • City of Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Durham Region Health Department;
  • Halton Region Public Health;
  • Lambton Public Health;
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit;
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services;
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit;
  • Southwestern Public Health;
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit;
  • Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public Health;
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit;
  • 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

Level: Grey – Lockdown

Effective Feb 16:

  • Niagara Region Public Health

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

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

Update Feb 10th: The province is also changing the rules for the strictest category of the restrictions system that will allow previously closed business to reopen with capacity limits of 25 per cent.

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

History of Health Unit Zone Changes:

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.

Changes effective November 30th:

Following public health regions will move from their current level in the framework to the following levels effective Monday, November 30, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.:

  • Red-Control — Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
  • Orange-Restrict — Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.
  • Yellow-Protect — Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, Lambton Public Health; and Northwestern Health Unit.

Changes effective December 7th:

Following public health regions will move from their current level in the framework to the following levels effective Monday, December 7, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.:

  • Orange-Restrict — Middlesex-London Health Unit; and Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
  • Yellow-Protect — Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

— With Files from The Canadian Press

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  • 2 Comments

    Page 1 of 1
    1. Mona meilleur

      where are the changes apply for January 14;2021 Northern Onatrio

      January 25, 2021 at 12:30 PM
    2. Lynda Mattucci

      What color will back to normal look like ? Why is there no mention of going back to a normal zone when do masks come off and no more social distancing ? It doesn’t look very promising

      February 23, 2021 at 4:07 PM

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