Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/ Nov. 10, 2021 –
Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) are working together to ensure businesses are taking the steps needed to keep employees, consumers and the public safe by confirming compliance with the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
During the two-day campaign on November 12 and 13, provincial offences officers will be visiting local businesses to provide guidance about safe operations during the pandemic, and compliance with public health requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act. The multi-ministry inspection team will be monitoring for compliance with provincial proof of vaccination requirements, as well as ensuring businesses are upholding other requirements such as safety plans, capacity limits, screening of staff and patrons, and collecting patron contact information.
They will be visiting a variety of venues as part of the campaign, including, but not limited to:
- restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments;
- fitness, recreational and athletic facilities;
- meeting and event spaces.
Inspectors and officers are empowered to issue tickets to employees and patrons who fail to wear masks, maintain physical distancing, and comply with other COVID-19 health and safety measures. Public health inspectors also have the authority to temporarily close workplaces that fail to comply.
If a business or individual fails to comply with orders made under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020 the set fines are:
- $750 for individuals failing to comply with the requirements;
- $1,000 for corporations failing to comply with the requirements; and
- $1,000 for obstructing others (including employees or other workers) from complying with the requirements.
Employers may also face fines of up to $100,000 for individuals and up to $10 million for corporations failing to comply with health and safety measures under the Reopening Ontario Act. Individuals found to be in violation of the acts may also be imprisoned for up to one year if convicted on prosecution.
“HPEPH is committed to working with local businesses to support them in the implementation and maintenance of the public health measures, to ensure public spaces are as safe as possible for all,” said Dr. Ethan Toumishey, Acting Medical Officer of Health. “This campaign will help to ensure businesses have the information and support they need to operate safely as the province continues to reopen.”
Guidance to help businesses operate more safely during COVID-19 is available at Ontario.ca/covidsafety. Workplaces can also access the following resources to help raise awareness of COVID-19 safety in the workplace:
- COVID-19 worker and employee screening tool
- Developing a COVID-19 workplace safety plan
- Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace
- Guidance for employers during breaks
- Break poster
- Lunch poster
- Keep it to yourself poster
- Workplace Personal Protective Equipment Supplier Directory
Local business owners or operators who have questions about current regulations are invited to visit our COVID-19 Resources for Workplaces web page, complete our online form, or call 1-800-267-2803, ext. 677.
Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist
About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
We invite community partners and residents to share this Media Release with their respective networks.