Hamilton to re-open under revised ‘Red-Control’ level of COVID-19 framework

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Published February 12, 2021 at 3:02 pm

The Ontario government released its revised COVID-19 Response Framework on Friday (Feb. 12) and announced Hamilton will be re-opening under the Red-Control zone on Feb. 16.

Hamilton is one of 27 regions no longer subject to the Stay-at-Home order that was instituted on Jan. 12, 2021.

“The health and safety of Ontarians remains our number one priority. While we are cautiously and gradually transitioning some regions out of shutdown, with the risk of new variants this is not a reopening or a return to normal,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

“Until vaccines are widely available, It remains critical that all individuals and families continue to adhere to public health measures and stay home as much as possible to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities.”

Toronto, Peel, York, and North Bay will remain under shutdown orders.

The Ontario government says regions are designated based on a general improvement in trends of key indicators, including the lower transmission of COVID-19, improving hospital capacity, and available public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management.

“While the trends in public health indicators are heading in the right direction, we still have work to do,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Everyone is strongly advised to continue staying at home, avoid social gatherings, only travel between regions for essential purposes, and limit close contacts to your household or those you live with.”

Here’s what the Red-Control framework and guidelines will look like for Hamilton:


Gatherings and close contact

Limit close contact to your household (the people you live with) and stay at least 2 metres apart from everyone else.

Do not visit any other household or allow visitors in your home. If you live alone, you can have close contact with only one other household.

All events and social gatherings:

  • Indoors: 5 people
  • Outside: 25 people

Religious, wedding and funeral services:

  • Indoors: 30% capacity
  • Outdoors: 100 people

Only go out for essential reasons, such as:

  • work
  • school
  • groceries
  • pharmacy
  • health care
  • helping vulnerable people
  • exercise and physical activity

Work remotely, where possible.


Rules for all businesses

  • screen employees and customers (use the COVID-19covid 19 Screening Tool for Workplaces)
  • post signs at all entrances informing people how to screen themselves for COVID-19covid 19 before entry
  • limit capacity so guests can stay at least 2 metres apart
  • make sure anyone indoors wears a mask or face covering, including workers who have to come within 2 metres of anyone else (with some exceptions)
  • make sure workers use personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects their eyes, nose and mouth when they must come within 2 metres of anyone who is not wearing a mask or face covering or separated by plexiglass
  • clean and disinfect often-touched surfaces, such as equipment, washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms and showers frequently
  • manage line ups to make sure customers are at least two metres apart wearing face coverings or masks
    create a safety plan, post it in a place where workers and patrons will see it and have it available upon request (for example, to inspectors or law enforcement officers)

Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments

Capacity limits (indoors):

  • 10 people total
  • 4 people per table

Guests must:

  • sit with at least 2 metres between tables
  • wear masks or face coverings except when eating or drinking (with some exceptions)
  • wear a mask or face covering and keep 2 metres apart when lining up and gathering outside
  • give their name and contact information

Not allowed:

  • Buffets
  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Live music performance
  • Strip clubs (can only operate as a restaurant or bar)

Time restrictions:

  • Establishments must close by 10 p.m.
  • Alcohol cannot be sold after 9 p.m.
  • No one can drink alcohol after 10 p.m.

Sports and recreational fitness facilities

Indoor capacity limit:

  • 10 people in classes
  • 10 people in areas with weights or exercise equipment

Outside capacity limit:

  • 25 people in classes
  • No spectators, except for one parent or guardian per child

Team sports:

  • must not be practiced or played except for training (no games or scrimmage)
  • must keep 2 metres physical distance, no contact permitted

Everyone must:

  • always wear a mask or face covering except when exercising (with some exceptions)
  • stay 3 metres apart in classes or areas with weights or exercise equipment and 2 metres apart everywhere else
  • make reservations (only one required per team)
  • give their name and contact information

Time restrictions:

  • 90-minute time limit for classes and working out (does not apply for sports)

Some exemptions apply for high-performance athletes and parasports.

Outdoor ski, ice and snow recreational amenities open for recreational purposes.


Meeting and event spaces

Capacity limits:

  • Indoors: 10 people total
  • Outside: 25 people total
  • Per table: 4 people

Religious, wedding and funeral services have different limits

Not allowed:

  • Booking multiple rooms for the same event

Guests must:

  • Give their name and contact information
  • Wear masks or face coverings except when eating or drinking (with some exceptions)

Time restrictions:

  • Establishments must close by 10 p.m.
  • Alcohol cannot be sold after 9 p.m.
  • No one can drink alcohol after 10 p.m.

Stores

Capacity limits:

  • Supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies: 75%
  • All other retail (includes discount and big-box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores, garden centres): 50%

Fitting rooms cannot be right next to each other.

Guests must:

  • Wear a mask or face covering (with some exceptions) and keep at least 2 metres apart inside and when lining up and gathering outside
  • Answer screening questions about COVID-19covid 19 symptoms and exposure before they come into malls

Personal care services

Closed:

  • Oxygen bars
  • Steam rooms
  • Saunas
  • Sensory deprivation pods (except for therapeutic purposes)
  • Bathhouses
  • Other adult venues

Guests must:

  • Give their name and contact information

Not allowed:

  • Services that need guests to remove their mask or face covering

Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments

Capacity limits:

  • Indoors: 10 people total
  • Outside: 25 people total

Not allowed:

  • Table games (for example, poker, blackjack, roulette)

Guests must:

  • wear masks or face coverings except when eating or drinking (with some exceptions)
  • give their name and contact information

Time restrictions:

  • Alcohol cannot be sold after 9 p.m.
  • No one can drink alcohol after 10 p.m.

Cinemas

  • Closed (with some exceptions)
  • Only drive-ins allowed.

Performing arts facilities

  • No audiences allowed.
  • Rehearsing, recording or broadcasting an event or performance is allowed (for example, streaming a performance to an online audience).
  • Everyone must stay 2 metres away from each other, except when needed for the performance.
  • There must be a barrier (for example, plexiglass) between singers and wind or brass-instrument players and other performers.

The following public health regions will be moving back to the Framework on Feb. 16, at 12:01 a.m. and will no longer be subject to the Stay-at-Home order:

Grey-Lockdown:

  • Niagara Region Public Health

Red-Control:

  • 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; and
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

Orange-Restrict:

  • 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; and
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts.

Yellow-Protect:

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

Green-Prevent:

  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit; and
  • Timiskaming Health Unit.

After returning to the Framework, public health regions will stay in their zone for at least two weeks, according to the Province. At which time, the government says it will assess the impact of public health and workplace safety measures to determine if the region should stay where they are or be moved to a different level.

“While the trends in public health indicators are heading in the right direction, we still have work to do,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Everyone is strongly advised to continue staying at home, avoid social gatherings, only travel between regions for essential purposes, and limit close contacts to your household or those you live with.”

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