Ontario introduced new restrictions, effective today, in its response to the Omicron variant.
Condos are required to close their gyms, meeting or event spaces, pools, saunas, billiard rooms, and all other indoor recreational amenities.
Once again, permitted short term rentals have been scaled back and are limited to those in need of housing. Most outdoor recreational amenities, however, are permitted to remain open.
The applicable Regulation, O. Reg 263/20 (amended by O. Reg 2/22) requires all facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities and indoor recreational amenities to close (except for limited exceptions, such as facilities for training Olympic athletes). Meeting and event spaces are limited to non-condo related purposes.
The Regulations requiring closures apply to all businesses and “places” and are not therefore limited to commercial facilities. There is no carve out or exception for these facilities within condos, even if they are reserved and used by only one unit at a time.
Those condos that opened up their amenities are now required to temporarily close them to comply with the new restrictions and help limit the spread of COVID-19.
For anyone curious about the language of the Regulation, O. Reg. 263/20 (as amended by O. Reg. 2/22) provides as follows:
(1) Each person responsible for a … place… that is required to be closed by Schedule 2 shall ensure that the … place… is closed in accordance with that Schedule.
(2) Each person responsible for a … place… that Schedule 2 describes as being permitted to open if certain conditions set out in that Schedule are met shall ensure that the … place… either meets those conditions or is closed.
4.(1) The person responsible for a business or place that is open may only rent out indoor meeting or event space if the indoor meeting or event space is only rented out,
[Note: the Regulation lists conditions not applicable to condos; therefore, meeting and event spaces must be closed.]
19.(1) Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities may open if they meet the conditions set out in subsection (2), (3), (4) or (5), as applicable.
[Note: the Regulation lists conditions not applicable to condos; therefore, indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities must be closed.]
20.(1) Indoor recreational amenities are closed.
The CAO has just released its guidance and update for condos with some additional guidance as we revert to Step 2 of the Reopening Plan.