ECA Ottawa

COVID-19 News

Ontario Opens Step 3

Today the Ontario government has moved into Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen. It focuses on the resumption of additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place. This includes, social gathering indoors of up to 25 and outdoors to 100. Restaurants, pubs, bars are open based on capacity. Sports, meetings, events and personal care services are available with certain restrictions. To see the list of allowances click here.


June 24, 2021 – With key public health and health care indicators continuing to improve, the provincewide vaccination rate now surpassing the targets outlined in the province’s Roadmap to Reopen, and on the recommendation of the the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is moving the province into Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

Reimbursement for 3-day sick leave

The online application, allowing business owners to be reimbursed for providing paid infectious disease emergency leave, the so-called 3-day sick leave, is now available. As an employer, you may be eligible to be reimbursed for payment up to a maximum of $200 per day for up to three (3) days per employee, made to an employee for paid infectious disease emergency. Click here to visit the website and review the application process.

Province Announces 3 Step Plan

The Ontario government announced a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators. The province will remain in each step for at least 21 days to evaluate any impact. Roadmap to Reopen outlines three steps to easing public health measures, guided by the following principles:

  • Step One An initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower, and permitting retail with restrictions. This includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table and non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity.
  • Step Two Further expanding outdoor activities and resuming limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn. This includes outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and leagues, personal care services where face coverings can be worn and with capacity limits, as well as indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15 per cent capacity.
  • Step Three Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, including where there are larger numbers of people and where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes indoor sports and recreational fitness; indoor dining, museums, art galleries and libraries, and casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits.

Ontario Extends Stay-At-Home Order

With the new, more contagious variants continuing to pose significant risks, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended the Stay-at-Home Order (O. Reg. 265/21) until at least June 2, 2021. All public health and workplace safety measures under the provincewide emergency brake will also remain in effect. Despite improvements, key indicators remain high and more time is required before the province can safely lift the Stay-at-Home Order.

Ontario Enacts 3-Day Sick Leave

On April 29, 2021 the Ontario Government introduced Infectious Disease Emergency Leave Pay (“Paid Leave”). Employers will be required to pay eligible employees up to $200 of pay for up to three days if they are missing work because of COVID-19. Employers will then be eligible to apply to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) for reimbursement. The Paid Leave will be administered by the employer and will be applied retroactively starting from April 19, 2021, and will expire on September 25, 2021. Click here to read more.

Gov’t Inspectors Coming To Jobsites

Monday, April 19, 2021- The Ontario government will begin targeted provincewide inspections of construction sites starting  last Friday, April 16, 2021 to ‘hotspots’ of which Ottawa is one. They will be dispatching 200 workplace inspectors, supported by provincial offenses officers, to visit 1,300 constructions sites to enforce safety requirements. Officers will also be visiting over 500 workplaces, including big box stores, food processors, manufacturers and warehouses, in Ottawa, Toronto and York Region, which have been identified as hot spots for COVID-19. Please ensure all your jobsites comply with Ontario’s Covid – 19 protocols.

Travel Restrictions Imposed

Monday April 19th, 2021 – Premier Ford announced late Friday that non-essential construction will be shut down effective Monday April 19th until at least May 20th. Checkpoints will also be set up at the Ontario-Québec border to restrict land travel with exceptions for essential travel only. Construction workers who live in Gatineau and western Québec and working on an essential construction project in eastern Ontario will be allowed to travel into Ontario. Traveler’s who are coming into Ontario for purposes other than work, medical care, transportation of goods will be turned back at the border. Police will have the authority to ask anyone outside their residence to indicate their purpose for leaving home and provide their address. That includes stopping vehicles and potentially issuing tickets of approximately $750. Ontario Regulation 293/21 detailing the above interprovincial travel rules is accessible at this LINK. See the ECA Ottawa Covid – 19 webpage for a sample cross-border letter.