Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Assistant Deputy Minister’s Office Housing Division
777 Bay Street, 14th Floor Toronto ON M7A 2J3 Tel.: 416 585-6738
March 18, 2022
Ministère des Affaires municipales et du Logement
Bureau du sous-ministre adjoint Division du Logement
777, rue Bay, 14e étage Toronto ON M7A 2J3 Tél. : 416 585-6738
Service Managers and Indigenous Program Administrators
Assistant Deputy Minister, Housing Division
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Masking and Face Covering Requirements as of March 21, 2022
I am writing to advise you about changes to masking and face covering requirements
under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
As of March 21, 2022, masks and face coverings will no longer be required to be worn in many settings. However, as per O. Reg. 364/20, mask or face covering requirements will continue to apply in certain settings until April 27, 2022. Some of these settings include:
• Businesses or organizations that operate a shelter for persons experiencing homelessness, in respect of the premises used for the operation of the shelter.
• Congregate care supportive housing residences where the residents share facilities for living, dining, sleeping or bathing and that receive funding from:
o The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
o A Service Manager designated under the Housing Services Act, 2011 o The Ontario Aboriginal Housing Support Services Corporation
o The Miziwe Biik Development Corporation.
For a complete list of settings and exceptions to mask or face covering requirements that may apply, please refer to O. Reg. 364/20.
Maintaining masking requirements in these settings provides additional protection in places where people are often in close contact, and/or required to be in-person, and for vulnerable people. It also allows for sustained protection until the end of April, when the COVID-19 situation is expected to improve, especially as the weather warms.
I encourage you to share this information with your local service providers. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Vicky Rajput at [email protected].
Thank you for your continued support and dedication in helping our most vulnerable during the pandemic.
Assistant Deputy Minister
c: Kate Manson-Smith, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Peter Kiatipis, Director, Community Housing Policy Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Vicky Rajput, Manager, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Wed., March 9, 2022
From masking to vaccinations, Ontario is lifting all COVID-19 restrictions by the end of April as part of its latest plan to live with the virus that has claimed more than 12,000 lives across the province in the last two years.
That starts with an end to mandatory masking in schools and most indoor public places March 21, as previously reported by the Star.
But businesses and institutions are welcome to keep masking and mandatory vaccination policies if they choose as COVID-19 circulates, officials said in outlining the plan Wednesday.
“As directives are revoked, individual organizations will continue to have the authority to keep requirements in place,” said Ministry of Health briefing materials released in advance of an 11 a.m. news conference by chief medical officer Dr. Kieran Moore.
Officials said 10 to 12 per cent of the population eligible for PCR tests, such as health-care workers, are testing positive for COVID-19 — mainly the highly contagious Omicron and the related BA.2 variants — ut hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions have been steadily declining.
The next step in the reopening comes Monday, when hospitals and other institutions will no longer be required to have policies on vaccination of staff, although many hospitals have already made COVID-19 shots a condition of employment.
While masking requirements will be lifted in most indoor settings on March 21, the Monday following the March school break, masks will be required until April 27 in high-risk settings such as public transit, nursing and retirement homes, hospitals, shelters, jails and other congregate living settings such as homes for Ontarians with developmental disabilities.
However, once masking is no longer required, Ontarians more vulnerable to serious illness or death from COVID-19 because of underlying medical conditions are encouraged to continue wearing them, officials said.
In Brantford, Premier Doug Ford maintained the ultimate decision on further easing restrictions was left to Moore and that there was no political interference.
“Let me be very clear, there’s no pressure on Dr. Moore. I follow the advice and the recommendations of the chief medical officer of Ontario. He consults with the science table. We’re going to take his advice,” said Ford, adding Moore “has done an incredible job,” which is why Ontario has fared better than most of North America during the pandemic.
“We’ve been supercautious,” the premier said, noting all 50 U.S. states have already lifted their mandatory indoor mask rules.
“If you want to keep your mask on, keep it on. If you want to take it off, take it off,” he said.
“It’s going to be up to the people, but we have to move forward from this.”
Ford conceded “people are exhausted” after two years of the pandemic.
Isolation policies are also changing.
Close contacts of people testing positive for COVID-19 outside their own households will no longer be required to isolate. However, they are being advised to self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days after exposure, wear a mask and avoid activities where they would have to remove their masks, not visit anyone at high risk, such as seniors, and not visit or work in high-risk settings unless they have previously tested positive in the last 90 days.
For close contacts in a household, isolation will continue unless they have tested positive in the last 90 days, are over 18 and have received a booster shot or are under 18 and fully vaccinated.
PCR tests for COVID-19 will be available to home-care and community-care workers, provincial demonstration schools and hospital schools. Officials said the province will not open PCR testing to the general public because of wider availability of rapid tests.
Officials said there will be a “final extension” of Ontario’s emergency powers to the end of April in case they are needed, noting it is impossible to predict when a dangerous new variant might surface.