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Effective Wednesday, September 22, 2021, the Government of Ontario will require proof of vaccination status for people to access meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres.
 

For more information about verification of vaccine status and how this applies to individuals and owners/operators of public settings where proof of vaccine status is applicable, please review the New Requirement for Proof of Vaccination in Certain Settings: Frequently Asked Questions backgrounder from the Office of the Premier of Ontario.

Please note that gathering limits as stated in this guidance do not apply for wedding ceremonies, funeral, or religious services, court services, or operations on behalf of a government delivering or supporting government services.  For more information about those events, please review the General Public Health Measures page.

Visit WECHU’s Provincial Pandemic Status page for updates on Windsor-Essex’s status level, a summary of current provincial requirements, and local enhanced measures. For information about how to assess COVID-19 risks in your retail setting and to plan risk modifications, please refer to the WECHU Risk Assessment for Workplaces page.

Enhanced Local Measures & Instructions

The Medical Officer of Health’s Letter of Instruction (effective September 7, 2021) to control the spread of COVID-19 in our community provides additional measures for meeting or event spaces, conference centres, convention centres, such as:

  • Record the name and contact information of every member of the public who attends a meeting or event and provide the record to public health within 24 hours of a request.
  • Ensure compliance with all items under the Reopening Ontario Act, letter of instruction and section 22 orders for events using the facility, including instructions for weddings and funerals.

Three-Step Roadmap

  • Closed with exceptions for certain purposes including social services, government operations, court services, in-person examinations for select professions (subject to conditions)

Outdoor Event Spaces

The person responsible for a business or place that is open may only rent out meeting or event spaces if the meeting or event space is only rented out:

  • for a day camp or overnight camp for children;
  • to a provider of child care within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014;
  • for the purpose of the provision of social services;
  • for the purpose of collective bargaining, so long as no more than 10 people are permitted to occupy the rented space;
  • for the purpose of delivering or supporting the delivery of court services;
  • for operations by or on behalf of a government;
  • for the purpose of delivering or supporting the delivery of government services;
  • for the purpose of delivering or supporting mental health support services or addictions support services, so long as no more than 10 people are permitted to occupy the rented space; or
  • for the purpose of conducting in-person examinations for the registration, licensing or accreditation of persons in any of the fields or occupations, so long as no more than 50 students are permitted to occupy the rented space.

Outdoor spaces open with a maximum of 25% capacity and comply with other restrictions, including the following conditions:

  • The total number of people in the rentable meeting or event space at any one time must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the rentable meeting or event space
  • The person responsible for the business or place must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the establishment is permitted to operate.
  • No more than six people may be seated together at any table in the rented space.
  • Patrons must remain seated at all times in the rented space, except while:
    • entering the area and while moving to their table,
    • exiting the area,
    • going to or returning from a washroom,
    • singing or performing music, or
    • where necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  • The rented space must be configured so that patrons seated at different tables are separated by:
    • a distance of at least two metres, or
    • plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
  • The person responsible for the business or place shall:
    • record the name and contact information of every member of the public who attends a meeting or event;
    • maintain the records for a period of at least one month; and
    • only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
  • The person responsible for the business or place must actively screen individuals before they enter the indoor premises of the business or place.
  • No patron may be permitted to enter the indoor premises of the business or place, except:
    • to access a washroom,
    • to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route, or
    • as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  • No patrons are permitted to dance within the rented space.

Indoor Event Spaces

  • Indoor meeting and event spaces closed, with exceptions for certain purposes, and except for viewing for potential booking of a future event

Meeting or event space, conference centres, convention centres may rent out indoor or outdoor meeting or event space permitted with physical distancing requirements and in any event:

  • May not exceed 50% capacity, as arrived at by taking 50% of the capacity of every room in the indoor rentable meeting or event space and totalling the result, or 1,000 persons, whichever is less.
  • May not exceed 75% capacity or 5,000 persons permitted in an outdoor portion of a rentable meeting or event space, whichever is less.
  • Rooms must be separated by a partition with a hard, non-porous surface that can be easily and routinely cleaned and disinfected.

The person responsible for the establishment must:

  • Actively screen individuals and post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the establishment is permitted to operate.
  • Ensure that the rented space is configured so that patrons seated at different tables are separated by:
    • a distance of at least two metres, or
    • plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
  • record the name and contact information of every member of the public who attends a meeting or event;
  • maintain the records for a period of at least one month;
  • only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request

Capacity Limits

The person responsible for a place of business or facility that is open to the public shall limit the number of persons in the place of business or facility so that:

  • Members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the business or facility; and
  • The total number of members of the public in the business or facility at any one time does not exceed the allowable capacity limit.

Capacity limits can be determined by:

  • Taking the total square metres of floor area accessible to the public in the business or facility, not including shelving and store fixtures
  • To calculate 50% capacity, divide the total square metres of floor area by 8 and round the result down to the nearest whole number.
  • To calculate 25% capacity, divide the total square metres of floor area by 16 and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.
  • To calculate 75% capacity of an outdoor setting, divide the total square metres of the area accessible to the public by 1.33, and round the result down to the nearest whole number.

COVID-19 Safety Plan

The person responsible for a business that is open must prepare and make available a safety plan. The plan must:

  • Describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business, place, facility or establishment to reduce spread of COVID-19.
  • Include measures for screening, physical distancing, masks, cleaning, disinfecting and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Be in writing and made available to any person for review, on request.
  • Be posted in a visible place to come to the attention of those working in or attending the location.

Non-Medical Face Masks, Face Coverings, and Eye Protection

Ontario Regulation 364/20: Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step mandates the wearing of face masks that cover the mouth, nose, and chin in indoor public places and workplaces.

In addition to wearing a non-medical face mask or face covering, staff must wear eye protection when they are:

  • Within 2 metres of patrons who are not wearing a non-medical mask or face covering, and/or
  • In an indoor area and are not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barriers.

Train staff on the proper use, removal and disposal of non-medical masks.

Non-medical masks do not replace other important public health measures, such as physical distancing, proper hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing into a tissue or sleeve and staying home when feeling ill.

More information about face coverings and eye protection is available by visiting the Face Coverings & Eye Protection webpage.


Signage and Screening

  • Every patron/customer/staff member that enters the facility/workplace must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors. The person responsible for the business must record the name and contact information of every member of the public who attends a meeting or event and must actively screen individuals. The COVID-19 Customer Screening Tool may be used to meet this requirement.
  • Actively screen staff using the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces. This includes workers, volunteers, suppliers, and contractors.
  • Post signage at entrances and throughout the establishment that clearly communicate procedures for physical distancing between staff and customers.  This include posters and floor markings such as instructional tape/stickers that direct the flow of people waiting for services, including any waiting areas. Examples of signage can be found in the Resources & Signage section of the WECHU website.
  • Post signage to communicate entry procedures such as hand sanitizing, sneeze and cough etiquettewearing of cloth masks, and/or screening for symptoms.
  • Ensure employees are aware of common COVID-19 symptoms and in addition to active screening upon arrival, instruct them to complete a daily provincial screening tool for workplaces before reporting to work.
  • Provide training to employees on effective hand hygiene practices and if required, the proper way to put on and remove PPE such as masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves.

Physical Distancing

Complete any needed modifications in areas where there will be staff and/or clients, to assist with physical distancing and proper cleaning and disinfection. For example:

  • Monitor entrances to control staff and clients entering the establishment.
  • Rearrange store layout and remove non-essential furniture/items, to allow ease of movement for physical distancing.
  • Place visual markers (e.g., tape on the floor, pylons, signs) spaced 2 metres apart to control the follow of traffic and prevent crowding.
  • Staff should remind clients to stay 2 metres apart.
  • If possible, install barriers (e.g. Plexiglas) between workers who must work in close proximity to each other.
  • Install barriers (e.g. Plexiglas) in areas where clients must come within 2 metres of staff or within 2 metres of people from other groups.
    • For barriers in areas where people are standing, ensure the top of the barrier is 15 cm above the top of the head of the tallest patron or employee, which would be at least 2 metres (79 inches) from the ground.
    • For barriers in areas where people are sitting, ensure the top of the barrier is 15 cm above the top of the head of the tallest seated patron or employee, which would be at least 1.46 metres (58 inches) from the ground.

General Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Ensure hand washing facilities are available and in good working order.
  • Ensure there is always sufficient supply of approved disinfecting solution or wipes, and an alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitizer) with a minimum of 60% alcohol content, liquid hand soap, and paper towels. These should be easily accessible to employees.
  • Provide additional garbage bins for safe disposal of used masks, tissues, and paper towels and wipes.
  • Encourage the use of contactless payments whenever possible. If handling cash, use alcohol-based hand rub after each transaction and avoid touching your face.
  • Clean debit/credit terminals after each customer or as frequently as possible.
  • Encourage the use of contactless payments whenever possible. If handling cash, use alcohol-based hand rub after each transaction and avoid touching your face.

Resources

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Last modified: 
Friday, September 10, 2021 - 3:39pm