Covid-19 Update for the Condominium Sector
Details on the New Safety Measures
On April 3rd, 2021, all public health units in Ontario were moved to the Shutdown Zone under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID 19) Act, 2020. For more information on the Shutdown Zone, please see Ontario Regulation 82/20.
On April 7th, 2021, additional safety measures were implemented which included a provincial declaration of emergency and additional orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, 1990. Specifically, the province was issued a stay-at-home order which required everyone in Ontario to stay in their place of residence unless for specific purposes noted in Ontario Regulation 265/21.
As of April 17th, 2021, additional restrictions have been introduced, including an extension of the provincial declaration of emergency and the stay-at-home order, travel restrictions, and additional public health measures.
It is important to note that in addition to the safety measures mentioned below, individuals, condo owners, and condominium corporations must stay updated on and follow all local municipal by-laws, as these by-laws may impose different requirements on different areas within the province.
Covid-19 Update for the Condominium Sector
How do These New Measures Impact the Condo Community?
- A stay-at-home order has been issued, which requires individuals and families to stay at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store, pharmacy, hospital, or work.
- Each individual in either a place of business or a facility that is open to the public is required to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other individual except their caregiver or other members of the individual’s household, with limited exceptions. Social distancing must be maintained in the common elements of condo buildings.
- Section 2. (3) of Schedule 1 of Ontario Regulation 82/20 requires that condominium corporations actively screen all individuals who work at the condominium corporation as well as post signs at all entrances to the condo premises, in a conspicuous location visible to the public, that inform individuals on how to screen themselves for COVID-19 prior to entering the condo premises. For more information on screening requirements, please click here.
- All indoor and outdoor meetings and gatherings are prohibited except for gatherings with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of the household, with limited exceptions.
- Face coverings must be worn when you are in any indoor portion of the common elements of your condo building where physical distancing of 2 metres cannot be maintained except where there are permitted exceptions under section 2. (4) of Schedule 1 of Ontario Regulation 82/20.
- Indoor and outdoor recreational amenities must be closed, with limited exceptions. Outdoor parks and recreational areas, off-leash dog areas, benches in parks or recreational areas, and outdoor playgrounds/play structures/play equipment are exempt from this requirement. Meeting and gathering restrictions still apply when making use of these amenities.
- Short-term rentals are prohibited except for those providing housing to individuals in need.
- Renovations to individual residential condo units are permitted. However, please be aware that your condominium corporation may have additional restrictions in its rules regarding non-essential visitors to the condominium corporation property during the pandemic, which may include individuals working on renovation projects within individual units. Further, please note that a recent Superior Court of Justice decision (Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1704 v. Fraser, 2020 ONSC 5430) upheld a condominium corporation’s restriction on access to the condominium corporation property for non-emergency/non-essential repairs.
- In light of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario, condo boards may wish to create a COVID-19 safety plan to simplify and add accountability to the process of ensuring safety within their condo community. For more information on creating a COVID-19 safety plan, please click here.