Halton medical officer of health sets out new rules for stores and shopping malls

 

With Halton set to return to the Red-Control level of the province's colour-coded framework this week, new rules are in effect for businesses as they begin to reopen.

Halton's medical officer of health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, has set out new rules that the region's retail stores and shopping malls will have to adhere to in addition to the provincial regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act.

The rules mainly have to do with enforcing reduced capacity limits, physical distancing, and face coverings for indoor shopping and line-ups.

Shopping malls will be required to:

  • Actively monitor compliance with the required capacity limit and ensure that physical distancing of
    two metres is maintained by patrons, store staff and mall staff in all common areas, stores,
    washrooms, hallways, entrances, etc., at all times and that all patrons, store staff and mall staff
    wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin unless entitled
    to an exception from this requirement.
  • Ensure all stores within the shopping mall set a maximum capacity limit and monitor the capacity
    limit to ensure physical distancing of at least two meters is maintained by patrons, store staff and
    mall staff at all times and that all patrons, store staff and mall staff wear a mask or face covering
    in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin unless entitled to an exception from this
    requirement.
  • Actively manage all line-ups or patrons congregating and ensure all patrons waiting in line-ups
    inside or outside the shopping mall maintain physical distancing of at least two metres and that all
    patrons, store staff and mall staff wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their
    mouth, nose and chin unless entitled to an exception from this requirement.
  • Follow all further instructions from Halton Region Public Health pertaining to COVID-19 that apply
    to your shopping mall.

Retail stores will be required to:

  • Actively monitor compliance with the required capacity limit and ensure that physical distancing of
    at least two metres is maintained by patrons and store staff within the retail store and in all
    common areas, washrooms, hallways, entrances, etc., at all times and that all patrons, store staff
    and mall staff wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin
    unless entitled to an exception from this requirement.
  • Actively manage all line-ups or patrons congregating and ensure all patrons waiting in line-ups
    inside or outside the retail store maintain physical distancing of at least two metres and that all
    patrons, store staff and mall staff wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their
    mouth, nose and chin unless entitled to an exception from this requirement.
  • Follow all further instructions from Halton Region Public Health pertaining to COVID-19 that apply
    to your retail store.

The rules are effective beginning Tuesday, February 16, which is when the region can reopen under the new framework.

"Our shared objective is to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 in Halton Region, especially as the risk of transmitting new and potentially more dangerous variants of the virus present in our community," Meghani said in a recent statement.

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