Based on an increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the EOHU region, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) has issued a new Order for owners and operators of banquet halls, food and drink establishments, sports and recreational facilities, and personal care services across the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, and the City of Cornwall.
The Order, pursuant to section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), comes into effect at 11:59 P.M. on October 25th and will remain in effect for 28 days, until November 22nd at 11:59 P.M. The Order brings in new measures so that owners and operators of these types of establishments can continue to operate, all while ensuring the health and safety of staff and clients.
“The last thing I want is for businesses in our community to have to shut their doors again as they did in the spring,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “By putting these new measures in place, I’m hoping we can stop the rising number of infections and prevent another shutdown that would hurt our local economy.”
Measures for owners/operators of banquet halls and food and drink establishments
The new Order brings in several measures to reduce the risk of individuals infected with COVID-19 spreading the virus to others, including limiting the number of people who can be seated at each table to six. In addition, the total number of patrons in the indoor and outdoor sections of a food and drink establishment must not exceed 100. For banquet halls, the total number of patrons permitted in the premises cannot exceed 50 indoors or 100 outdoors.
Patrons waiting in line to enter the premises must wear a mask or maintain a distance of two metres from other people outside their household. Establishments must also conduct a COVID screen on every patron and record their name and contact information, whether they’re seated in an indoor or outdoor dining area.
Measures for owners/operators of indoor sports and recreational facilities
The new Order applies to owners and operators of indoor sports and recreational facilities, including gymnasiums, health clubs, community centres, multi-purpose facilities, arenas, exercise studios, yoga studios, dance studios, and other indoor fitness facilities.
The Order stipulates that the total number of people permitted to be in a class, organized program or organized activity cannot exceed 10 people, excluding staff. The total number of people permitted in the facility, across all organized activities, cannot exceed 50 and each organized activity must take place in a separate room.
Any person who enters or uses an indoor facility must maintain a distance of two metres from other people and wear a mask, unless actively exercising. As is the case with food and drink establishments, clients waiting in line to enter the premises must wear a mask or maintain a distance of two metres from people outside their household. Operators must also conduct a COVID screen on every patron and record their name and contact information. The Order also stipulates that steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools, or bathhouses must be closed.
Measures for owners/operators of personal care services
The new Order also brings in measures for owners and operators of businesses that provide personal care services, including hair salons and barber shops, manicure and pedicure salons, aesthetician or piercing services, tanning salons, spas and tattoo studios.
Just as for the other types of establishments, clients waiting in line to enter the premises must wear a mask or maintain a distance of two metres from people outside their household. Operators must also conduct a COVID screen on every client and record their name and contact information.
The measures mentioned above are highlights of the requirements in the latest Order. For the complete list of measures that owners and operators of banquet halls, food and drink establishments, sports and recreational facilities, and personal care services must put in place, please consult the official document on the EOHU’s website.