In a press release issued yesterday, Ontario has announced that it was lifting more of the covid restrictions affecting CondoLand.
Don’t miss our weekly webinar, Wednesday at 5pm. More info, the agenda and the registration form here.
Moving onto Stage 2 of reopening
Effective Friday June 12, many areas of Ontario will move to “Stage 2” of reopening the province. These areas include:
- Eastern Ontario
- Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox
- North Bay Parry Sound District
- Region of Waterloo
- and many more
In fact, pretty much all of Ontario except the GTA and the Golden Horseshoe are moving onto Stage 2.
What is Phase 2?
In Stage 2, additional restrictions are being loosened, while emphasizing public health advice. More businesses and services are permitted to open, as well as some community, recreational and outdoor spaces. You can read more about Stage 2 here.
Increase limit on social gathering
Across the province (so not just Stage 2 areas), the limit on social gathering is being increased from five to 10 people. This should allow most board and managers to meet in person (should they chose to do so), but no in-person AGMs (except for micro condos).
Reopening of additional Business and services
Many businesses and services are permitted to reopen in Stage 2 areas, including the following, which we highlight as they may have an impact on condos.
- Outdoor patios (think rooftop terraces, patios, communal BBQs);
- All swimming pools (indoor outdoor);
- Outdoor-only recreational facilities, with limits to enable physical distancing (think of tennis courts, gardens, etc);
- Barber shops and hair salons. This one has nothing to do with condos but it’s near and dear to my heart…
In our view, indoor gyms and fitness rooms must remain closed. As long as these remain closed in public settings (such as your local gym), there is no reason, in our view, to re-open them in condos. You should consult with your condo lawyer if you are thinking of reopening them.
Having said that, now may be the right time to start thinking about the precautions you will put in place when you do reopen them:
- Will you reduce the number of users at any given time?
- Will you implement social-distancing barriers or reminders?
- Will you implement new schedule protocols? (Have you thought of online application to reserve your spot?)
While all pools are allowed to open in Stage 2 areas, there are number of precautions that ought to be taken prior to allowing swimmers to return. For instance, if your condominium has 6 or more dwelling units, your pool is considered a “Class B” pool under the Public Pools Regulation of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
Under this Regulation, if a Class B pool has been closed for more than four weeks, the owner or operator of the pool (AKA, the condominium), must notify public health in writing when it intends to reopen the pool.
In addition, it is always useful to check out what your municipality is recommending. See for instance these useful reminders from Ottawa’s Public Health Office.
- Requirement to advise Ottawa’s Public Health office at least 2 weeks before reopening your pools;
- Here is Ottawa’s Pool reopening Notification form;
- Here’s a good Daily Record chart for pool operation (where you can record your inspection and tests results).
It is also very important to note that the fact the province allows pools to open does not mean that condo have an obligation to open them. Each corporation should look into the specific set up, layout and particularities of their community when deciding to open (or not) their pool.
Let’s continue to cautiously reopen CondoLand without putting our communities at risk.