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COVID-19 News

Ontario Back To Step 2

In response to recent trends that show an alarming increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is temporarily moving the province into Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen with modifications that take into account the province’s successful vaccination efforts. These time-limited measures will help blunt transmission and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed as the province continues to accelerate its booster dose rollout. As part of the province’s response to the Omicron variant, starting January 5, students will pivot to remote learning with free emergency child care planned for school-aged children of health care and other eligible frontline workers. Click here for full details.


To further strengthen its response to Omicron and reduce opportunities for close contact as the province gets as many vaccines into arms as possible, Ontario is introducing a 50 per cent capacity limit in the following indoor public settings:

  • Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments and strip clubs;
  • Personal care services;
  • Personal physical fitness trainers;
  • Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies);
  • Shopping malls;
  • Non-spectator areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g. gyms);
  • Indoor recreational amenities;
  • Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities;
  • Tour and guide services; and
  • Photography studios and services; and marinas and boating clubs.

To further reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, additional protective measures are also being applied:

  • The number of patrons permitted to sit at a table will be limited to 10 people and patrons will be required to remain seated in restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments; meeting and event spaces; and strip clubs.
  • Bars and restaurants, meeting and event spaces and strip clubs will be required to close by 11 p.m. Take out and delivery will be permitted beyond 11 p.m.
  • Dancing will not be allowed except for workers or performers.
  • Food and/or drink services will be prohibited at sporting events; concert venues, theatres and cinemas; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues.
  • The sale of alcohol will be restricted after 10 p.m. and consumption of alcohol in businesses or settings after 11 p.m.

In addition, to mitigate COVID-19 transmission that can occur at informal social gatherings, the province is also reducing social gathering limits to 10 people indoors, and to 25 people outdoors.

These restrictions will come into effect on 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, December 19, 2021.


ONTARIO & CANADIAN GOV’T UPDATES SUPPORTS   The Ontario and Canadian governments have announced new support for businesses and workers that are impacted by public health measures in response to the Omicron variant.   Ontario Launches New Supports for Businesses:   ·    Through the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program, eligible businesses will receive rebate payments equivalent to 50 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to the current capacity limits. A full list of eligible business types will be made available through a program guide in mid-January 2022. Online applications for this program will open in mid-January 2022, with payments to eligible businesses provided retroactive to December 19, 2021.   ·    A six-month interest- and penalty-free period to make payments for most provincially administered taxes, supporting businesses in the immediate term while capacity restrictions are in place while providing the flexibility Ontario businesses will need for long-term planning. The six-month period will begin January 1, 2022 and end July 1, 2022.   Read the full release here   Canada Temporarily Expands COVID Supports:   ·    Expand the Local Lockdown Program to include employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more; and reduce the current-month revenue decline threshold requirement to 25 per cent. Eligible employers will receive wage and rent subsidies from 25 per cent up to a maximum of 75 per cent, depending on their degree of revenue loss. The 12-month revenue decline test continues to not be required in order to access this support.   ·    Expand the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to include workers in regions where provincial or territorial governments have introduced capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more. As announced previously, this benefit will provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly affected by a COVID-19-related public health lockdown, and who have lost 50 per cent or more of their income as a result.   These updated regulations will apply from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022, during which time it is expected that public health authorities will continue to implement “circuit-breaker” restrictions that limit the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 across Canada.   More details here

2021 Ontario Electrical Saftey Code

The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) would like to advise that the Government has approved the regulatory amendment to adopt the 2021 Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC), which comes into effect on May 5, 2022. 

The new Code will be available for order in December 2021. The hardcopy of the Code book will be available for $223, as well as a PDF-version available for $199. These prices will include free access to the bulletins on CSA Community of Interest website over the whole period of the Code cycle. Once purchased, the PDF-version can be accessed immediately, while the hardcopy versions will be available for delivery in late January 2022.

ESA is partnering with the CSA Group to offer the Code book and all ESA bulletins, which provide important updates and interpretations, together for one price in a searchable, digital format for $199 — accessible on smart phones, tablets and desktops and compatible with Windows and iOS. This version will be available in Summer 2022. 

HERE for the Ontario specific amendments.

For more information on the new OESC, please visit



Friday, October 22, 2021 – The ECA Ottawa Board of Directors unanimously agreed to hold our Annual General Meeting in person on Tuesday, February 22, 2021. The location will be announced shortly. While all members are invited to attend, only those with proof of full vaccination will be allowed to enter the venue.

$7.4 Billion Announced AmonG Cancellations

The federal government is spending $7.4 billion to extend and create new COVID-19 supports for hard-hit businesses and workers that will carry into the spring. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Thursday that as of Oct. 23, new measures will be put in place to replace the broad Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), which expire on Saturday. The new Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program and Hardest Hit Business Recovery Program will take effect Sunday. The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program will provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs for other businesses that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 per cent.

Federal Government Announces Travel Passport

Instead of issuing a singular federal national COVID-19 vaccine passport, the federal government says that each province and territory will be responsible for issuing a “standardized pan-Canadian” vaccine passport that Canadians can use when travelling. Each province’s system is supposed to have a “common” look and feel, with the expectation that by next month all Canadians will have access to their vaccine credentials from their province or territory, as proof of vaccination will soon be needed in order to board a plane or train in this country. The federal government is promising to promote this system internationally, so that border agencies, organizations, and businesses across the globe will be able to recognize and rely on these passports as Canadian documents because of the placement of a “Canada” word-mark in the upper-right-hand corner.

U.S. Land Border Opens

The White House announced today, October 15, 2021, it will lift travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals (Canada and Mexica) effective Nov. 8, at land borders and for air travel,


Wednesday, September 22, 2021 – A COVID-19 vaccine passport system kicks in September 22 in Ontario, requiring people to show proof of vaccination for entry into thousands of non-essential venues across the province.  Restaurants, bars, sports venues, gyms, theatres, cinemas and casinos are among the locations where staff must ask patrons to show certification of two doses of an approved vaccine, along with identification that matches their vaccination document.  Click here for more information.

Proof of Vaccinations

September 14, 2021 – Today the government released the regulations and guidance for businesses and organizations to support them in implementing proof of vaccination requirements, which take effect on September 22, 2021. Proof will be required for concerts, theatres, indoor restaurants, indoor waterparks, indoor sports spectators, casino’s, bongo halls, gambling establishments, sports and fitness activities and clubs