On Jun. 2, the province of Ontario’s stay-at-home order officially expired after over two months. However, most public health and workplace restrictions will remain in place until the province enters the first stage of the Ford government’s reopening plan.
For the time being, existing public health restrictions and bylaws on businesses, services and indoor and outdoor gatherings will remain in effect throughout the province.
The Region of Waterloo has also extended their code-of-use by-laws for an indefinite period. This includes face coverings requirements on transit and in enclosed public places, such as retail shops, grocery stores and more. This excludes children under the age of five and those who are unable to wear a face covering due to existing health reasons.
It was reported by the Ontario Ministry of Labour that several businesses in region that were inspected for COVID-19 safety were not fully compliant with the rules.
Out of 1,100 COVID-19 visits conducted from the start of 2021 to May 28, over 960 orders and 40 tickets were issued by inspectors. These tickets were related to lack of safety plans, in-person capacity limits and COVID-19 screening requirements.
Last week, the Region issued approximately 35 enforcement actions to businesses and residents breaching COVID-19 health protocols.
Last Sunday, hundreds of people—many not wearing face masks and not physically distancing—gathered into Waterloo Public Square as part of a planned in-person event by the Trinity Bible Chapel in Waterloo. It was advertised as “Worship in the Square”.
While past COVID-19 restrictions only permitted up to 10 people for outdoor religious services, Waterloo Regional Police Services said they monitored the event and would gather evidence that would allow them to lay charges.