COVID-19 Information: Workplaces, Employers, Employees

 As key public health indicators continue to improve or remain stable, the majority of public health and workplace safety measures have been lifted as of March 21, 2022.

Ontario is now focusing on living with, and managing, COVID-19. This means that organizations, businesses and individuals must make their own decisions on how to protect themselves, their members, staff, customers and visitors from COVID-19. 

Please note:  Some groups may have existing COVID-19 legislation, guidance or public health instructions guiding their business or organization:

  • Day cares, schools, post-secondary institutions and other facilities used solely for educational purposes
  • School transportation vehicles
  • Hospitals and portions of buildings used by regulated health professionals
  • Buildings and services owned or operated by the Province of Ontario or the Federal Government of Canada.
If your workplace falls into the above categories, follow the directions for your sector.
If you have questions about  impacts to your business or employment, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Resources and managing risk:

COVID-19 continues to circulate and remains a potentially serious illness. The following groups are at higher risk of severe outcomes (long COVID, hospitalization or death) from COVID-19.

  • People of advanced age
  • People living in congregate settings
  • People with underlying health conditions
  • People who are unvaccinated
If your staff or patrons consist of people in the above categories (or interact frequently with these groups), consider which measures  you can take to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.
PDFs from the Managing the Risks of COVID-19: Operator and Business Tool Kit
Proof of vaccination information for businesses and organizations

On March 1, 2022, the Provincial Government lifted proof of vaccination requirements to enter certain indoor public settings, such as restaurants, recreation facilities and movie theatres.

Businesses and organizations may choose to require proof of vaccination of patrons entering their setting if they were previously eligible to do so. They are recommended to seek legal advice if they are considering implementing their own policy.

For more information, visit the Ontario Government's Information for businesses and organizations about vaccine certificates webpage.

HPPH Recommendations for Employers

The Letter of Recommendation to Employers was rescinded February 24, 2022. See Section 22 Orders and Instructions for more information.

Rapid Antigen Tests

For more information on rapid tests, including for workplaces, please visit our COVID-19 testing, tracing and results page.

Employee and patron screening

Effective March 21 2022, previous requirements for screening of workers or patrons are no longer in effect.

Please note, businesses and organizations may choose to voluntarily implement their own rules regarding screening. However, they must follow any applicable laws (e.g., Human Rights Code, Occupational Health and Safety Standards) and should obtain independent legal advice should they consider doing so.

It is important to maintain a level of screening for staff to reduce transmission in the workplaces and for patrons to ensure they are well prior to entering the business.

Difference between Passive and Active Screening:

  • Passive screening entails an individual assessing their own risk factors and deciding for themselves what to do (i.e., whether they may enter a business/facility or physically attend work).
  • Active screening is when someone else confirms that an individual has completed the screening and that the result indicates whether they may enter the business/facility or the workplace. An online tool is often used for active screening. Some applications allow for the individual to confirm the result through an email function.
    • Active screening is still considered best practice and is recommended to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Supporting mental health

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused anxiety, distress and other strong emotions in individuals, families, workplaces and communities across the globe.

Visit our COVID-19 and mental health page to learn more about local help available and other mental health resources for individuals.

Also visit the Province's COVID-19: Support for people webpage.

 Safety guidance

Workplace safety plans are no longer required as of March 21, 2022, however, they remain an effective tool to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Learn more about COVID-19 and workplace health and safety, and how to develop your COVID-19 workplace safety plan.

Other resources:

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety is offering Pandemic COVID-19 tip sheets for the following sectors.

  • airline and ground crews
  • construction
  • daycares
  • emergency and patient intake
  • first responders
  • food processing
  • home delivery and couriers
  • long-term care
  • manufacturing
  • mining
  • retail
  • transportation
  • work camps

Each document offers health and safety tips and good practices, for both employers and workers, specific to each industry or sector. Organizations and businesses can adopt this guidance to protect their workers and prevent the spread of infections.

Healthcare workers

In addition to the province's support for workers, visit the Ministry of Health's guidance for the healthcare sector as well as our information page for health professionals.

For information on how to self-isolate, visit our self-isolation information page.

Food premises operators

Please see the latest information and guidance for Food Premises Operators.

Personal service settings

Please see the latest information and guidance for operators of Personal Service Settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

For questions about self-isolation requirements and what to do if an employee has COVID-19, or has been identified as a close contact, see our COVID-19 Self-Isolation Information webpage. 

Where to go with concerns or complaints about a business or workplace not following COVID-19 recommendations/best practices

If you are a worker:

  • Review your employee rights to safety and emergency leave
  • We encourage employees with concerns to share credible information and the latest recommendations from the Ministry of Health and Huron Perth Public Health with your workplace. Other options you have include:
    • Review your workplace policy & procedures
    • Speak with your HR manager or consult with your health and safety committee, if applicable
    • You also have the right to contact the provincial Health and Safety Contact Centre
  • You can also contact COVIDintake@hpph.ca for more information

If you are an owner/operator of a business:

Concerned community member:

General questions about COVID-19 (e.g., cleaning & disinfection practices, masking, vaccination, etc.):

Do employees need to wear eye protection at work?

No, employees do not need to wear eye protection at work. However, a combination of masking and eye protection (i.e., face shield, goggles, safety glasses) will greatly reduce your risk of acquiring COVID-19 from someone who is unmasked when physical distancing (6ft/2m) cannot be maintained.

What if my employee has been exposed to COVID-19?

For more information about isolation requirements visit Ontario.ca/exposed and the HPPH COVID-19: Self-isolation Information webpage. 

For more information about COVID-19 testing visit the COVID-19: Testing, tracing and results webpage.

Learn more about the Province's support for workers.

What if an employee travels outside of Canada? 

Requirements on testing and quarantining after international travel (including travel to the United States) are set by the federal government. Visit COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders for the most up-to-date information.

What information can I share with my staff?

  • Ensure the information you share with your staff is from a credible source.
  • Support the mental health of your staff during this very stressful time. Share local mental health supports or call 211.
  • Remind staff to stay home when they are sick.
  • Remind staff to use resources available to them like an employee assistance program (EAP). 
  • Encourage staff to take care of themselves by:
    • taking regular breaks
    • being physically active daily
    • eating a variety of healthy foods
    • getting adequate sleep
    • relaxing and limiting screen time where possible.