City of Toronto supports moving Toronto into Grey Zone of provincial COVID-19 response framework

The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. Today, the Province of Ontario announced Toronto will be moving into the Grey Zone of the Lockdown Regulation under Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework at of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 8. A move to the Grey Zone will better align Toronto restrictions with surrounding regions and help Toronto’s economy as retail businesses are permitted to open for limited in-person shopping.

In the Grey Zone, a number of COVID-19 precautions will change as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 8. Regardless of the colour zone, all people should continue to stay home as much as possible and always follow public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and another shutdown. Changes in the Grey Zone include:

Gatherings

Indoor organized public events and social gatherings remain limited to members of the same household and up to one individual who lives alone. Individuals who live alone, including seniors, may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation.

Outdoor organized public events and social gatherings where physical distancing can be maintained will be limited to 10 people – an increase from the five-person limit under the Shutdown Zone.

Religious services, rites and ceremonies, including wedding and funeral services, where physical distancing can be maintained are limited to 10 people indoors or outdoors.

Retail

In-person shopping will be permitted for all retail, subject to capacity limits that must be posted publicly of:

  • 50 per cent capacity for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies
  • 25 per cent capacity for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres
Stores will require passive screening for patrons (i.e. signage advising patrons how to screen themselves). Patrons who do not pass this screening should not enter the store. Individuals must physically distance and wear a face covering, with some exceptions. People should not loiter in shopping malls and stores within the malls.

Curbside pick-up and delivery remain permitted and the best way to ensure physical distancing while shopping.

Restrictions that remain in place

A number of restrictions will remain in place when Toronto moves from the Shutdown Zone to the Grey Zone under the Lockdown Regulation:

  • Indoor and outdoor dining service at restaurants remains prohibited
  • Sports and indoor recreational fitness facilities remain closed, with limited exceptions (i.e. use by high-performance athletes, use by persons with a disability for physical therapy, child care)
  • Team sports, including shinny, remain prohibited at outdoor recreational amenities
  • Meeting and event spaces remain closed
  • Personal care services like hair and nail salons remain closed
  • Indoor cinemas and performing arts facilities remain closed to the public and may be utilized only in limited circumstances (i.e. rehearsal or broadcast recording with a safety plan, contact list management and other conditions for safe operation)
Additional information on COVID-19 restrictions in Grey Zone of the Province’s COVID-19 response framework is available on toronto.ca: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-reopening-recovery-rebuild/covid-19-response-framework-zone-changes/.  A complete list of what is and is not permitted can be found in the Lockdown Regulation – Grey Zone on the Province’s website: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200082.

Since the start of the pandemic there have been a total of 98,861 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 420 new cases today. There are 274 people hospitalized. To date, there have been 2,677 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. In total, 92,571 people have recovered. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform:  www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/.

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