Ontario Expands Indoor Capacity for Meeting and Event FacilitiesPublished on August 24, 2020
Province also eases contact information requirements for bars and restaurants
The government is safely reopening more of the economy by easing restrictions for facilities that rent out professional meeting and event spaces. Beginning August 21, 2020, facilities can have up to 50 guests for each indoor meeting room or event space within the facility. The facility would have to adhere to a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
"As the province gradually and safely reopens, our government is continuing to promote a safe approach to reopening businesses to boost Ontario's economic and social recovery," the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries retorted in correspondence regarding this announcement. "Allowing for multiple meetings or events will allow convention centres, hotels and other professional meeting facilities to welcome back more visitors and employees."
The current indoor gathering limit will now apply on a per meeting room or event space basis at professional meeting and event facilities, including convention centres, hotels, motels, resorts, banquet halls and conference centres. Outdoor meeting and event facilities remain subject to the 100-person gathering limit for the entire outdoor area. Capacity limits exclude employees or event personnel. Safely allowing these facilities to host more meetings and events is an important step in Ontario's economic recovery.
To operate and expand indoor capacity safely during Stage 3 of Ontario's Framework for Reopening Our Province, convention centres, hoteliers and other associations have helped inform the development of a guidance document, which is the plan approved by the OCMOH. These measures ensure public safety based on public health requirements, operational best practices and industry guidelines prepared by the sector.
In addition, new regulatory amendments have come into force requiring contact information for only one person in a party entering indoor or outdoor dining areas starting today, with exceptions. This will reduce the administrative burden on businesses such as restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, and tour and guide services, while continuing to support case and contact tracing.
Businesses not able to open or resume full activities due to Stage 3 restrictions, or businesses that have ideas to safely amend Stage 3 restrictions or requirements, can visit Ontario.ca/reopen to submit a reopening proposal. Government and public health officials will review proposals and contact businesses for feedback or clarifications. Proposals may inform the potential loosening of restrictions as Stage 3 progresses.