Updated January 5, 2022

The AGCOhas maintained its services during the COVID-19 pandemic in support of the businesses and citizens that rely on our activities. Check this webpage to know what the AGCO is doing to support you and how we are adapting our services, guided by advice from public health officials.

On January 3, 2022, the Government of Ontario announced that the province is temporarily moving into Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen with modifications. These measures are in effect as of January 5, 2022. For specific details about the restrictions in place, please consult the regulation.

For ease of reference, the AGCO is highlighting relevant information regarding the current public health measures affecting its regulated sectors.

Step 2

Cannabis retail stores

Proof of vaccination is not required for patrons seeking to access cannabis retail stores.

 

Cannabis retail stores, including stores located in malls, are permitted to open for in-person shopping as non-essential retail, with 50% capacity.

 

Permissible hours for cannabis retail stores are 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

 

Retail stores must ensure the total number of patrons permitted indoors shall not exceed 50 per cent store capacity. Capacity limits apply to members of the public only (i.e. shoppers) and do not take into account the employees of the store.

 

Cannabis retail stores are also permitted to offer curbside pickup and delivery services between the hours of 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. The requirements for temporary Curbside Pick-Up and Delivery are outlined in the Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores.

Liquor stores

Proof of vaccination is not required for patrons seeking to access liquor stores.

 

Stores that sell liquor, including beer, wine and spirits may continue to open for in-person shopping, with 50% capacity.

 

Retail stores must ensure the total number of patrons permitted indoors is limited to 50 per cent store capacity. Capacity limits apply to members of the public only (i.e. shoppers) and do not take into account the employees of the store.
 
The permissible hours for delivery of liquor by a licensed liquor delivery service is 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Restaurants and bars and other food or drink establishments

Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments that are located in a sterile area* of an airport are exempt from the restriction on indoor dining and the requirement for patrons to provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

*A sterile area of an airport is defined under the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations, 2012 made under the Aeronautics Act (Canada) as an area that is restricted that is used to segregate: passengers who have been screened; passengers exempted from screening; and other persons authorized to be in the area.

Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments, including those with dance floors (such as nightclubs) and strip clubs must operate under the following conditions:

  1. indoor service closed
  2. take out, drive through and delivery allowed
  3. outdoor areas open with restrictions including, but not limited to:
    1. no more than 10 people per table, unless everyone seated at the table is:
      1. a member of the same household,
      2. a member of up to one other household who lives alone, or
      3. a caregiver for any member of either household.
    2. patrons must remain seated
    3. no dancing or singing, including karaoke
    4. the person responsible for the establishment must actively screen any dine-in patrons in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the establishment
    5. the person responsible for the establishment must:
      1. record the name and contact information of every patron that enters an area of the establishment, unless the patron temporarily enters the area to place, pick up or pay for a takeout order,
      2. maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
      3. only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.
    6. liquor is sold or served only between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. and no consumption of liquor is permitted between the hours of 11 p.m. and 9 a.m.

 
Takeout and delivery of liquor with food orders from an eligible liquor licensed establishment is permissible between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.

 

All eligible liquor sales licensees (including Boat Operators and “By the Glass” licensees) may add or temporarily extend their licensed premises without an application to the AGCO provided they meet the relevant requirements. For more details on the Registrar’s 2021 Patio Policy, please see this Information Bulletin.

 

If an outdoor dining area at the establishment is covered by a roof, canopy, tent, awning or other element, at least two full sides of the entire outdoor area must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable physical barriers.

 

If an outdoor dining area at the establishment is equipped with a retractable roof and the roof is retracted, at least one full side of the outdoor dining area must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable physical barriers.

Gathering limits

Organized public events are permitted under the following conditions:

  1. indoor events limited to five people or fewer
  2. outdoor events have no limits on number of attendees, but face coverings and/or masks must be worn when distancing (two metres or more) cannot be maintained.

Social gatherings, including those associated with weddings, funerals, religious services, rites and ceremonies, are limited to five people or fewer for indoor gatherings and 10 people or fewer people for outdoor gatherings.

 

Meeting and event spaces, including conference centres and convention centres must operate under the following conditions:

  1. indoor areas closed with exceptions, such as child care, court and government services, social services, health services, collective bargaining and mental health/addiction services up to 10 people, in-person exams for limited fields/occupations up to 50 people
  2. outdoor areas open with restrictions that include:
    1. no more than 10 people per table
    2. patrons must remain seated
    3. no dancing or singing
    4. the person responsible for the business or place must:
      1. record the name and contact information of every member of the public who attends a meeting or event,
      2. maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
      3. only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.

The AGCO is accepting applications for Special Occasion Permits. Permit holders must continue to comply with any public health measures related to COVID-19 implemented by the province of Ontario, Public Health and their local municipality, including hours and capacity restrictions at the time of the event.

Casino, bingo halls and gaming establishments

Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments must be closed.

Horse racing

Outdoor horse racing tracks may open under the following conditions:

  1. the number of members of the public in the venue at any one time must not exceed 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity of the venue
  2. no member of the public may enter the venue unless they have made a reservation to do so
  3. no member of the public may be permitted to enter the indoor premises of the venue, except,
    1. to access a washroom,
    2. to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route,
    3. to purchase admission,
    4. to engage in retail sales,
    5. to place a bet or pick up winnings, or
    6. as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  4. every member of the public in an outdoor area of the venue must wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin, unless they are entitled to any of the exceptions, or are seated with members of their own household only, and every member of the household is seated at least two metres from every person outside their household.

Proof of vaccination is required for facilities with a usual capacity of 20,000 or more people.

 

Dining rooms and bars on the premises are only permitted to open for outdoor service and takeout, drive through and delivery (see conditions under “Restaurants, and bars and other food or drink establishments).

Construction

All construction is open.  

Local  Measures 

In addition to the provincial health measures, some municipalities and local medical officers of health have added their own regional restrictions or requirements. Licensees are reminded that they must also continue to follow any public health measures in place in their municipality. Check your local public health unit or municipality’s website for details using the links above. Where there are regional restrictions or requirements, all provincial restrictions also apply.

For information on the provincial public health and workplace safety measures, we encourage you to visit the government’s COVID-19 website. If you have any questions, you may contact your local Public Health Unit, visit Ontario.ca/COVID, or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line 1-888-444-3659.

Proof of Vaccination

On September 14, 2021, the Government of Ontario announced that specified businesses or organizations as per section 2.1 of Schedule 1 to O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step (O. Reg. 364/20) under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) must require each patron who enters an area of the premises to provide, at the point of entry, proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The specified businesses or organizations must comply with the Ministry of Health’s guidance document, pursuant to subsection 2.1(4) of Schedule 1 of O. Reg. 364/20.

Effective January 4, 2022, the use of the enhanced COVID-19 vaccine certificate with QR code and the Verify Ontario app will be required where proof of vaccination is required. Download by visiting https://covid-19.ontario.ca/get-proof/, or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to have your vaccine certificate mailed.

Organizations and businesses that are under the provincial proof-of-vaccination system or have opted in will be advised to no longer accept physician notes as of January 10, 2022. The Verify Ontario app is being programmed to read and assess their exemption and will return the same green, yellow or red screen that you see when scanning regular vaccine certificates with QR codes.

Licensed establishments can print proof of vaccination posters created by Ontario’s Ministry of Health.

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