Peterborough Public Health is reminding business owners and operators to have their COVID-19 safety plan completed by next week.
On Monday, the health unit’s jurisdiction moved to the yellow-protect zone as part of the province’s response framework to the coronavirus pandemic. The health unit serves Peterborough, Peterborough County, Hiawatha First Nation and Curve Lake First Nation.
According to the health unit, businesses have until Monday, Nov. 30 to complete and post safety plans. The yellow zone designation will be in effect for 28 days.
Recommended protocols include screening people who enter a workplace, supporting self-isolation for staff with symptoms or close contacts, maintaining physical distancing, cleaning, hand hygiene and having workers, clients and visitors wear masks.
“We will use this coming week as an opportunity to educate local operators and the public that these are now required,” stated Julie Ingram, the health unit’s manager of environmental health programs, which includes inspection services.
“These new regulations are not intended to suggest their past efforts have lacked diligence, but instead are designed to heighten everyone’s attention on ensuring public health measures are practised in settings where COVID-19 is known to spread easily. Our actions matter.”
Among those requiring a safety plan are meeting and event spaces, food and drink establishments (including supermarkets), personal care services, shopping malls, sport and fitness facilities, cinemas, performing arts, casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments.
Entrance lineups at businesses must see patrons physically distanced and wearing a mask or face covering. The volume of music inside an establishment “must not exceed that of normal conversation.”
Under the yellow zone, restaurants, bars and meeting/event facilities must restrict the number of people seated together to six, close by midnight and sell or serve liquor between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. (consumption after midnight on the premises is prohibited), and contact information is required for all seated patrons.
Sports and fitness facilities must limit the number of attendees in each class to 10 (indoors) and 25 (outdoors); increase spacing between patrons to three metres where there are weights, weight machines, and exercise and fitness classes; require contact information for all patrons and attendance for team sports; and require a reservation for entry.
Casinos, bingo halls, gaming establishments, cinemas and performing arts venues can only serve/sell liquor between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. and require contact information for all patrons.
“Peterborough Public Health will remain in the Yellow-Protect zone for at least 28 days, unless COVID-19 indicators require a further escalation to the Orange — Restrict zone, which could be implemented sooner if deemed necessary,” the health unit stated.