Specific Legal Issues
Update on Ontario’s Proof of Vaccine Requirements for Condominiums
From the Volume 11, Winter 2022 issue of the CCI GHC Condo News Magazine
The Fall 2021 edition of the CondoNews included an article about Ontario’s vaccine passport system that was implemented in September of 2021 in response to the pandemic. As the government’s announcement was made shortly before the magazine went to press, there were some parts of the new system that were unclear, namely whether the requirement to show proof of vaccination would apply to condominiums. Fortunately, this is now clear with the release of the regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act.
Proof of vaccination is not required to access the common elements of condominiums used exclusively by the owners and residents, even those areas that would be covered by the requirement if they were operated by private businesses, like fitness areas and meeting spaces. However, condominiums choosing to open these amenities to their residents and owners must comply with the other requirements for operating these areas. These requirements currently include:
- collecting information on the users for contact tracing purposes;
- screening users before they enter for symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19;
- ensuring people wear face coverings where they are unable to maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from other people (unless they are exempt from the face covering requirement);
- cleaning and disinfecting surfaces; and
- posting any notices required by the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario and the Medical Officer of Health for the municipality in which the condominium is located.
In addition, many lawyers believe condominiums could choose to adopt vaccine requirements for amenity areas as part of the condominium’s duty to manage the common elements. See the Fall 2021 edition of the CondoNews for more information about this option.
It is important to note that owners operating businesses out of their units in commercial or mixed-use condominiums are required to comply with the proof of vaccination requirements implemented by the Ontario government. As such, if the unit owner’s business is one that is required to ask for proof of vaccination, such as restaurants for dine-in or gyms, the owner must ask for proof of vaccination and follow all other requirements, like contact tracing, screening, and ensuring face coverings are worn as required by the regulations.
The future remains uncertain now as the Ontario government has paused its original plan to gradually reopen in early 2021 because of the latest variant and the increase in case numbers. This uncertainty means that much that could change as proof of vaccination requirements and other public health measures are increased or relaxed. Stay tuned to the CondoNews for further updates.
Michelle Kelly is a partner at Robson Carpenter LLP where she leads the firm’s condominium practice group. She is the current President of the Grand River Chapter of CCI and sits on various committees, including the conference committee. She is a regular speaker at CCI events and the main contributor to the firm’s condominium management law blog (ontcondolaw.com).
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