Further Restrictions Imposed in Light of Record COVID-19 Numbers

April 22, 2021

To keep you abreast of developments in local real estate, I share this notice to members of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board with you.

The province has announced several major new public health restrictions in an effort to deal with record daily COVID-19 case counts and intensive care admissions.

Takeaways for Real Estate Industry:

• Real estate continues to be an essential service and Members can continue to do business, but it’s NOT business as usual.
• Residential evictions remain paused.
• In-person open houses remain prohibited across the province.
• In-person showings are permitted by appointment, but should be limited, space out showings and limit the number of people at showings.
• TRREB strongly recommends Members refrain from face-to-face real estate practices as much as practicable while they continue to satisfy their duties to their clients, and we continue to strongly advise Members to take advantage of virtual tools.
• We remind Members to follow all health and safety protocols for necessary in-person work that cannot be performed virtually by visiting the province’s enhanced public health and workplace safety measures.

While open houses are prohibited, these best practices apply to in-person showings.

What’s New?

Effective immediately, the government is extending the emergency declaration and the provincewide stay-at-home order for two more weeks (for a total of six weeks) and will now remain in place until at least May 20th.

The province is also shutting down non-essential construction work sites as of Monday, April 19 (office towers, malls, etc.). Essential construction (including residential and hospitals) will continue to operate.

Below is the compiled list of new restrictions:

Interprovincial travel

• Starting Monday, April 19, the province is setting up checkpoints at all interprovincial borders. Ontario will limit access to border crossings between Ontario and Manitoba and Quebec.
• Travellers who are coming into Ontario for work, medical care, transportation of goods and exercising indigenous treaty rights will be exempted.

Stay-at-home order

• The stay-at-home order, which went into effect on April 8 and was expected to last for 28 days, will now be extended for an additional two weeks. It will now be a six-week-long order that will last until May 20 at least.
• Residents must remain at home at all times, with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise, or essential work.
• Businesses across the province must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

Outdoor gatherings limited

• Starting Saturday, April 17, all outdoor social gatherings and organized public events will be prohibited, except for members of the same household. A person who lives alone could join one other household.
• All outdoor recreational amenities such as golf courses, basketball courts, and playgrounds, will be closed.

Retail capacity slashed

• Non-essential stores must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m., including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery.
• Capacity limits for in-person shopping in all retail settings where in-person shopping is permitted, including supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores and stores that primarily sell food and pharmaceutical products, will be limited to 25 per cent capacity.

Places of worship

• Starting Monday, April 19, capacity at weddings, funerals and religious services will be limited to 10 people indoors or outdoors.
• Drive-in services will be permitted.

Non-essential construction

• The government says non-essential construction will close, including construction at shopping malls, hotels, and office towers.

New Enforcement Measures

• For the first time in Ontario since the pandemic started, police officers will have the authority to require people to provide their home address and purpose for not being at their residence.
• As of Saturday, April 17, police will have the ability to stop vehicles to inquire about and reason for people leaving their homes, and could potentially issue tickets up to $750 for refusal to cooperate.

To review the complete details of the official announcement, please click here.

Courtesy of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board