Rule Changes

We wish every member of our client family and the people in our community good health, especially during these uncertain times.  Over the last couple of days, we’ve received a lot of questions regarding what’s allowed and what’s not during the new lockdown, effective immediately.

For a full list of new COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in Ontario, you can click here.

Below is a summary of the rules and common questions we’ve received for the new shutdown, as we understand them as of today:

Can I go to my cottage or secondary residence?

  • No. The government says that because it is asking residents to stay home, trips to a cottage or secondary residence should be avoided, unless it is for an essential purpose like emergency maintenance.

I booked a short-term rental getaway. Can I still go?

  • No. The province says that pre-arranged bookings for short-term rentals at hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, cottages, resorts are prohibited, with exceptions for housing requirements.

Are ski hills closed?

  • Yes. Ski hills are closed.

Is a housekeeper still allowed in my home?

  • Yes. Domestic services like housekeeping, cooking, indoor and outdoor cleaning and maintenance services are allowed but ONLY to support children, seniors and vulnerable persons.

Are restaurants still open for takeout and delivery?

  • Restaurants and bars aren’t affected by the new rules and can remain open for take out, drive-thru, and delivery only.  No in-house dining will be permitted.

Can I get my car serviced or buy a new vehicle?

  • According to the government, vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services are available by appointment only. The same applies to the sale of all motor vehicles.

Can I still attend my in-person driving instruction?

  • No. In-person driving instruction is not permitted, except for instruction for drivers of commercial motor vehicles.

Can I go outside for a walk or go skating at a public rink?

  • Going outside for exercise is permitted, including walking your dog, running and ice skating at a public rink. However, the government says it prefers if residents would remain home.

I live alone. Can I visit my family?

  • A representative for the government says that if you live alone, you can go spend time with another family, but they prefer you stay home.

Are cannabis dispensaries still open?

  • Yes. Cannabis dispensaries are open for curb-side pick-up or delivery only, but only from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. As well, an item can only be provided for curb-side pickup if the patron ordered the item before arriving at the business premises.

What about alcohol sales?

  • You can still purchase alcohol at a licensed retailer, but only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

When do the measures end?

  • The measures announced Tuesday are scheduled to be in place until at least Feb. 11.

How will the government know who is out for legitimate reasons and who isn’t?

  • The province said that residents will have a duty to identify themselves when a police officer has “reasonable and probable grounds” that there has been a breach of the orders made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

How does this impact Real Estate?

  • Broadly speaking, the State of Emergency does not have a significant impact on real estate. Real estate continues to be an essential service, Realtors are permitted to continue to transact business and open houses remain prohibited
  • With that in mind, the State of Emergency does impact real estate in two ways:
    • Short term rentals for recreational purposes, as mentioned above, are effectively closed as of January 12, 2021. IF a booking was made prior to January 12th, it is permitted to go forward.
    • Renovations started before January 12th will be permitted to continue but those that have not started are not permitted to start.
  • The following remains the same:
    • Open houses are banned. No exceptions anywhere in the province until the lockdown is lifted
    • Virtual meetings and showings are encouraged, where possible.
    • If in-person showings are required they must be done so with extreme caution
      • No overlapping showings
      • Masks & gloves are to be worn at all times
      • Limit the number of people viewing a home
      • Disinfect the home before and after showings

If you find yourself requiring a move during this time, whether it be buying, selling, or leasing – rest assured we have all the necessary precautions and measures in place to guide you safely and ensure you achieve an excellent result.  If you don’t have to move, then try to stay home and go out as little as possible.

Our top concerns are our client’s needs and everyone’s safety.  Let’s keep the numbers down!