COVID-19: Cross country update (June 9, 2020)

June 9, 2020

Federal

The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Supply Hub for Personal Protective Equipment

Today, the Government of Canada launched a new web hub to bring together available resources for organizations buying and selling personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Supply Hub connects Canadian organizations from coast to coast to coast with federal, provincial, territorial and other resources and information about PPE, including consumer guidance. Buyers will find PPE supplier lists, in addition to guidance to help plan their PPE purchases.

 

Alberta

The Government of Alberta announced the following measures:

Stage 2 of Relaunch

Due to strong testing data showing active COVID-19 cases in Alberta to be lower than expected, Stage 2 of the province’s relaunch strategy will begin on June 12th, a full week earlier than expected.

Re-Opened Businesses and Activities

The following will be able to open, with restrictions, in Stage 2:

  • K-12 schools, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following guidance;
  • Libraries;
  • More surgeries;
  • Wellness services such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology;
  • Personal services (esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatment, artificial tanning);
  • Indoor recreation, fitness, and sports, including gyms and arenas;
  • Movie theatres and theatres;
  • Community halls;
  • Team sports;
  • Pools for leisure swimming;
  • Video lottery terminals in restaurants and bars;
  • Casinos and bingo halls (but not table games); and
  • Instrumental concerts.

The 50% capacity limit for provincial campgrounds is also being lifted. Over the coming days, the online reservation system will be updated and sites will come online in phases.

By July 1, all camping sites will be open for reservations, although first-come, first-served sites may open sooner. Information on additional sites will be added to alberta.parks.ca when they become available.

Expanded Activities

The following events and gatherings can be larger in Stage 2:

  • Maximum 50 people:
    • Indoor social gatherings – including wedding and funeral receptions, and birthday parties.
  • Maximum 100 people:
    • Outdoor events and indoor seated/audience events – including wedding and funeral ceremonies.
  • No cap on the number of people (with public health measures and physical distancing in place):
    • Worship gatherings;
    • Restaurants, cafés, lounges and bars;
    • Casinos; and
    • Bingo halls.

There will also be more flexibility for ‘cohort’ groups (small groups of people whose members do not always keep two meters apart), namely:

  • A household can increase its close interactions with other households to a maximum of 15 people;
  • Performers can have a cohort of up to 50 people (cast members or performers);
  • Sports teams can play in region-only cohorts of up to 50 players (mini leagues); and
  • People could be part of a sports/performing and household cohort.

Continuing Prohibitions

The following events and activities remain unapproved in Stage 2:

  • Social gatherings that exceed the above listed maximums;
  • Regular in-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12 (classes will resume September 2020);
  • Vocal concerts (as singing carries a higher risk of transmission);
  • Major festivals and concerts, large conferences, trade shows and events (as these are non-seated social events and/or vocal concerts);
  • Nightclubs;
  • Amusement parks;
  • Hookah lounges (permitted for food and drink only);
  • Major sporting events and tournaments; and
  • Non-essential travel outside the province is not recommended. This recommendation will not be lifted until Stage 3 of the relaunch strategy.

 

Saskatchewan

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the following measures:

2020-21 School Year

Today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that classes in Saskatchewan Prekindergarten to Grade 12 schools will resume in-classroom learning for the upcoming school year. The school year is currently set to start as early as September 1, based on local school division calendars.

The Ministry of Education, with the input of the Education Response Planning Team, will distribute public health guidelines being developed in concert with the Chief Medical Health Officer.  The guidelines will be available to school divisions as early as next week to ensure schools are safe for students, staff and caregivers.

While a return to the classroom in the fall is the scenario being planned for, there will also be contingency plans in place in the event that there becomes an elevated transmission risk, and in-class learning cannot resume as planned, either regionally or provincially.

Legislative Amendments

The Facility Designation Regulations, RRS R-8.2 Reg 6, were recently amended to support the Saskatchewan Health Authority and its plan to manage the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing the creation of field hospitals to manage acute care surges, as well as to support plans to manage health impacts in any future public emergency periods.  The full text of these amendments can be accessed on the government’s website.

 

Ontario

The Government of Ontario announced the following measures:

More Businesses and Services to Reopen

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local health officials, the Ontario Government is easing restrictions in communities where it is safe to do so, based on trends of key public health indicators such as lower rates of transmission, increased capacity in hospitals, and progress made in testing.

Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to ten people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2.  Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30% of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.

Public health unit regions allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. include:

  • Algoma Public Health;
  • Brant County Health Unit;
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health;
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit;
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit;
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit;
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health;
  • Huron Perth Public Health;
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health;
  • Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit;
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit;
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit;
  • Northwestern Health Unit;
  • Ottawa Public Health;
  • Peterborough Public Health;
  • Porcupine Health Unit;
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts;
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services;
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit;
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit;
  • Southwestern Public Health;
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit;
  • Timiskaming Health Unit; and
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:

  • Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
  • Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
  • Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
  • Tour and guide services, such as biking, walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
  • Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
  • Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
  • Camping at private campgrounds;
  • Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
  • Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
  • Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
  • Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.

Reopening Child Care Centres

Today, the Ontario Government announced its plan to reopen child care centres across the province to support the next stage of the province’s reopening framework. As the province continues to implement its Framework for Reopening the Province, child care centres and home care providers across Ontario will be able to reopen with strict safety and operational requirements in place. Centres will be required to adopt specific rules, including:

  • Cohorting ― putting children and staff in groups of 10 or less, day over day;
  • COVID-19 response plan ― all child care settings will be required to have a plan in place if a child, parent or staff member/provider is exposed to COVID-19;
  • Screening ― all staff and children must be screened prior to entry to the child care setting and anyone feeling unwell must stay home;
  • Daily attendance records ― child care settings must keep daily records of all attendees in order to support contact tracing;
  • Cleaning ― child care settings must be thoroughly cleaned before opening and frequently thereafter;
  • No visitors ― only essential visitors are permitted entry into the child care setting; and
  • Implementing drop-off and pick-up protocols in a way that facilitates physical distancing.

Effectively immediately, staff can re-enter child care facilities and begin preparation for reopening. When these operators have met all the strict and stringent guidelines for reopening, they will be permitted to reopen.

The Ontario Government has also announced that summer day camps across the province will be able to reopen this summer, provided that strict health and safety protocols are in place. Guidelines for summer day camps have been developed by the Ministry of Health in partnership with public health, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and municipalities.

At this time, overnight camps are not permitted to operate in the summer of 2020.

 

Quebec

The Government of Quebec announced the following measures:

Authorization of Indoor Gatherings

On June 8, the Québec government announced that indoor gatherings in private dwellings will be permitted as of June 15 outside the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, the MRC de Joliette and the city of L’Épiphanie. For these territories, indoor gatherings will be permitted as of June 22. These gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people from no more than 3 different households. The rules of social distancing are maintained and the wearing of masks is strongly encouraged.

Enhancement of Aide d’urgence aux petites et moyennes entreprises Program

On June 9, the Québec government announced an additional $100 million to the Aide d’urgence aux petites et moyennes entreprises Program under the Fonds locaux d’investissement (FLI). Of this amount, $20 million is allocated to businesses in the Montréal area, as described in our June 8, 2020 update.

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Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Autorisation des rassemblements intérieurs

Le 8 juin, le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé que les rassemblements intérieurs dans les résidences privées seront permis à compter du 15 juin à l’extérieur de la Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, de la MRC de Joliette et de la ville de L’Épiphanie. Pour ces territoires, les rassemblements intérieurs seront permis à compter du 22 juin. Ces rassemblements sont limités à un maximum 10 personnes provenant d’au plus 3 ménages différents. Les règles de distanciation sociale sont maintenues et le port du masque est fortement encouragé.

Bonification du programme Aide d’urgence aux petites et moyennes entreprises

Le 9 juin, le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé l’injection de 100M$ dans le programme Aide d’urgence aux petites et moyennes entreprises dans le cadre des Fonds locaux d’investissement (FLI). De ce montant, 20M$ sont destinés aux entreprises de la région de Montréal, tel qu’annoncé hier.

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced the following measures:

Provincial Parks Campsite Reservations

The Provincial Parks Campsite Reservation Service will begin accepting reservations for the 2020 camping season for all provincial park campgrounds on Thursday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. (NDT). Campsites can be reserved by visiting nlcamping.ca or calling toll-free 1-877-214-CAMP (2267).

A two-phase re-opening process for the Provincial Parks of Newfoundland and Labrador will occur during Alert Level 3:

  • On Friday, June 12, day-use activity at 13 Provincial Park campgrounds and seven day-use Provincial Parks will be permitted.
  • On Friday, June 19, overnight camping at 13 Provincial Park campgrounds will be permitted, with restrictions.

Overnight camping is expected to resume in full (including tent camping), beginning in Alert Level 2.

 

Prince Edward Island

The Government of Prince Edward Island announced the following measures:

Access PEI

The Access PEI site in Montague is now offering select services to the public by email and phone only, including driver’s license renewals, vehicle registration renewals, and address changes.  Islanders who would like to take advantage of contactless service can call the Access PEI site in Montague at 902-838-0600 or email accesspeimontague@gov.pe.ca.

 

Miller Thomson is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation to ensure that we provide our clients with appropriate support in this rapidly changing environment. For articles, information updates and firm developments, please visit our COVID-19 Resources page.

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