|On Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario will enter a modified Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopening and remain under the new rules until at least January 26th, 2022 (21 days) – subject to public health indicators. While the below public health measures are in place until at least January 26th, all publicly funded and private schools will move to remote learning starting January 5th until at least January 17th, subject to public health trends and operational considerations.|
OREA’s government relations team has reviewed the updated rules and provided a preliminary summary on what it means for REALTORS® and real estate. Given the rate of spread of the omicron variant, OREA strongly encourages all Members to restrict in-person business to the greatest extent possible and use virtual tools to communicate with clients and carry-out business.
Please note, this analysis is based on government briefings and documents. We encourage all Members to review all public health rules and speak to local officials if they have any questions.
WHAT DOES THE MODIFIED STEP TWO MEAN FOR REAL ESTATE? Open Houses
Open houses are not permitted. In-person real estate showings can happen by appointment only and must follow all public health rules and guidelines (see below).
Impact on Real Estate Brokerages
As essential services, real estate brokerages can continue to operate with certain limitations: Remote work – Each broker of record (i.e. under the COVID rules “person responsible for the business”) must ensure that any person who performs work for the business conducts their work remotely unless the nature of the work requires them to be on-site at the workplace/brokerageCapacity limits – capacity inside a real estate business is limited to the lesser of 50% capacity or the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of 2 metres.Face covering/Masks – any person who enters a business, real estate showing, or other indoor area must wear a face mask/covering at all times.Screening – real estate brokerages must complete active screening of workers who enter their offices. OREA also strongly encourages active screening for all real estate showings.Cleaning/Disinfecting – equipment, washrooms and other common areas must be cleaned regularly and disinfected.Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”) – PPE for eyes, nose and mouth for workers (i.e. receptionists) if they are required to come into come within 2 metres of a person who is not wearing a face covering or mask indoors and are not separated by a barrier.
For a full list of new health measures please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures. In addition, Members can review OREA’s guidance for safe in-person showings for more help.
Other Information and Guidance
Short-term rentals are open only if provided to individuals who are in need of housing (does not apply to hotels, motels, lodges, resorts, student residences and other shared rental accommodation, but does apply with respect to cabins and cottages).
Indoor pools, communal steam rooms, saunas or indoor whirlpools, indoor fitness centres, or other indoor recreational facilities at short-term rentals must be closed.
Instructions from Public Health Officers
Businesses and organizations must follow all advice, recommendations, and instructions of public health officials, including related to physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting, screening and vaccination policies.
Further details should be obtained from covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures.
OREA will continue to keep members informed of the Province’s Reopening Roadmap and any impacts on real estate. Members looking for more general information should go to the Ontario Government’s website.