Moving into the Grey Zone
Toronto will move into the Grey Zone of the Provincial COVID-19 Response Framework on Monday, March 8 and we will remain at this level for at least two weeks.
- In the Grey Zone Level, in-person shopping is permitted for retail sales, with capacity limits:
- 50% capacity limit for supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, and other stores that primarily sell groceries continues
- 25% capacity limit for all other retail stores, including, big box stores, liquor stores, hardware stores, and garden centres.
- Curbside pick-up and delivery permitted.
- Stores must post capacity limits publicly (Post at any entrances customers and staff may use.)
- Stores must have passive screening for patrons.
- Individuals must continue to practice physical distancing and wear a mask
As for other retailers, services, and attractions
- Restaurants, bars, cafes –
- Indoor and outdoor seating is banned.
- Existing take out, drive-through and delivery services will be allowed to continue.
- Personal care service providers (e.g., hair salons, barber shops etc.) must stay closed
- Gyms must remain closed
- Regulated health professionals (chiropractors, dentists, massage therapists, ophthalmologists, physical and occupational therapists, podiatrists) are allowed to operate under the provincial framework
- Cannabis stores can be open for curbside pick-up
- Real estate agencies will be allowed to operate, but open houses must be by appointment only
For full details on what is allowed under the Grey Zone, click here.
Federal Subsidies Extended from March 14th to June 5th
The Federal government intends to extend the current rate structures for these subsidies from March 14 to June 5, 2021.
- the maximum wage subsidy rate for active employees would remain at 75 per cent;
- the maximum rent subsidy rate would remain at 65 per cent; and
- Lockdown Support would remain at 25 per cent and continue to be provided in addition to the rent subsidy, providing eligible hard hit businesses with rent support of up to 90 per cent.
- These extensions would provide certainty and continued support for workers, businesses, and other affected organizations in the face of ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic.
- With regard to furloughed employees, the government intends to continue to align the wage subsidy rate structure with the benefits provided through the Employment Insurance program from March 14 to June 5, 2021.
- This means employers who qualify for the wage subsidy would be able to continue to claim up to a maximum benefit of $595 per week per employee to support remuneration of their furloughed workers.
WQW will update you folks with the details when they are available.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
- As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease your business back into normal operations.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
- Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.
- This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.
- If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.