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Provincewide COVID Shutdown Will Impact Condos

After last week’s Condo Christmas Carol focused on Scrooge, we may now come across as the Grinch who stole Christmas, with today’s announcement of a provincewide lockdown.

What was announced

The province has announced today a provincewide lockdown to minimize transmission of COVID-19 and to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.  The provincewide shut down will go into effect on Saturday December 26, 2020 at 12:01 am.

What it means

Details were initially scarce as to what this lockdown would mean in practicality, but we were told that it would be similar to what was put in place last March, with only essential services remaining open.

Now that the regulations are out, we can confirm that this lockdown will be implemented by moving every Public Health Regions under Grey Zone Lockdown restrictions.  This means:

  • Masks are generally required in indoor common elements (there are exceptions and nuances);
  • Indoor organized public events or social gatherings of any kind are not permitted;
  • Outdoor organized public events or social gatherings are limited to 10 people;
  • Gym, pools and all other recreational amenities must be closed; and
  • Corporations should consider limiting or delaying any non-essential work in both units and common elements.

For more details on grey zone restrictions, consult our Lockdown COVID-Sheet,  accessible via our COVID tool at the top of our blog page.

Gyms, pool and fitness rooms

As expected, our reading of the grey zone restrictions requires the closure of all indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness amenities, including pools.  We realize that this is an extremely unpopular reading of the regulations, but that is how they read.

The provincial order to close fitness facilities is not limited to ‘businesses’. It applies to organizations, facilities and places.  Clearly, at least in our reading, it applies to condominiums.

There is a list of exceptions for outdoor facilities, which can remain open. These include:  parks and recreational areas, baseball, soccer, tennis, basketball, skate parks, golf courses, cycling, horse riding, shooting ranges, playgrounds and more.  Best to consult the full list.

Duration of the lockdown

The lockdown is expected to remain in place for 28 days in Southern Ontario and 14 days in Northern Ontario, but the province will continue to monitor the situation.

You can read Ontario’s press release here.

 

Updated Dec. 22, 2020, at 3:45 pm.

 

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