New Changes to Ontario’s COVID-19 Framework 
March 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update
Published on March 25, 2021

By Luis R. Chacin


On March 19, 2021, the Ontario government announced that it was moving eight regions to new levels in the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open (the “Framework”), and extended all orders in force under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 until April 20, 2021.

Of note, for regions in the Gray Zone, Ontario Regulation 82/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 1 was amended so that the 10 people limit for gatherings for purposes of a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite or ceremony itself is now substituted with a limit of 15% of the capacity of the room if the gathering is held indoors, or 50 people if the gathering is held outdoors. This change applies only to the religious service itself and not an associated social gathering, such as a wedding reception. Also, a person attending an organized public event, social gathering or a gathering for the purposes of a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite or ceremony must continue to comply with public health guidance on physical distancing and wear a mask or face covering during any period in which they are in an indoor area of the premises. The rules for areas in Stages 2 and 3 remain unchanged in this regard. For additional information, see the February 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update.

As well, emergency orders Ontario Regulation 55/21: Compliance Orders for Retirement Homes, and Ontario Regulation 8/21: Enforcement of COVID-19 Measures under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, have been extended until April 5, 2021.

The provincial government stated that local medical officers of health continue to have the ability to issue Section 22 orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, and municipalities may enact by-laws, to target specific transmission risks in the community. As well, the government stated that “everyone is strongly urged to continue staying at home and limit trips outside their household and to other regions for essential purposes only, and not to gather with individuals outside of their household.”



Read the March 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update