City of Barrie urging businesses to continue following COVID guidelines or run the risk of full lockdown

“The only way we can avoid a full lockdown and protect our local economy is to follow the guidelines," says city CAO

City Hall is urging Barrie businesses to stick with red zone restrictions and help avoid a full lockdown.

Municipalities within Simcoe Muskoka moved into the control-red zone as of December 14, bringing a host of broader scale restrictions on many sectors, including restaurants and retailers. The City of Barrie says it needs the support of these businesses to protect the local economy and ensure a healthy environment.

“The only way we can avoid a full lockdown and protect our local economy is to follow the guidelines,” says Michael Prowse, Barrie CAO. “We all need to do our part to help stop the spread of this pandemic before it worsens.”

While a list of guidelines and requirements is available from the local health unit and the Government of Ontario, the City of Barrie is reminding businesses of some of the measures currently in place:

Retail stores

  • Capacity must be limited so that every member of the public is able to maintain two metres of physical distancing from every other person.
  • Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues must be managed by the venue, and two metres distance and face coverings are required in line-ups.
  • Fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls.
  • Screening of employees is required.
  • Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible.
  • A safety plan is required and available upon request.
  • Malls can remain open if they ensure that any interior dining spaces inside the mall, including any tables and seating in food courts, are closed.

Large employers and manufacturers

  • The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit recommends the practice of cohorting staff. Ensuring that staff that work together performing similar tasks remain as a ‘bubble’ or team while working or when entering/leaving the facility where possible with limiting interaction with others.
  • Limit the number of workers working in one space so that they can distance themselves from each other by:
    • Staggering shifts and break times and scheduling more time for cleaning.
    • Practicing physical distancing during breaks.
  • Limit the number of people sharing equipment or tools.
  • Screening of all employees is recommended under Health Guidelines and in some cases required under legislation.

Restaurants and bars

  • Line-ups and patrons congregating inside and outside venues must be managed by the venue, and two metres distance and face coverings are required in line-ups.
  • 10 patrons seated indoors. Patrons must be seated and two metres minimum or impermeable barrier is required between tables. Limit of four people per table.
  • Face coverings required except when eating or drinking only.
  • Contact information must be gathered for all seated customers.
  • Outdoor dining, take out, drive through, and delivery is permitted, including alcohol.
  • Dancing, singing, and live music are not allowed.
  • Personal protective equipment, including eye protection, is required when is a worker comes within two metres of another person who is not wearing a face covering.
  • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m.-5 a.m.; liquor can only be sold/served between 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • The volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible.
  • A safety plan is required and available upon request.