COVID-19 January 5 2022 Update
January 5, 2022 UPDATE FOR THE ARTS COMMUNITY
TORONTO, January 5, 2022 - Toronto Arts Council is committed to providing accurate and up to date information for the arts community throughout the COVID-19 emergency response period. See here for updated COVID-19 web pages and all prior TAC releases and assembled resources.
NEW MEASURES ANNOUNCED
On January 3rd, the government of Ontario announced time-limited measures to slow the increase of transmission and COVID-19 hospitalizations. The government is moving the province into Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen with modifications. The new measures, which went into effect today, January 5, 2022 at 12:01 a.m., affect the arts sector. They will be in place for at least 21 days (until January 27).
Here’s what you need to know.
- Concert venues, theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions, amusement parks, waterparks, tour and guide services including boat tours, fairs, rural exhibitions and festivals must operate under the following conditions:
- indoor areas of concert venues, theatres and cinemas are closed. However rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted performance, artistic event or performance is permitted, with restrictions.
- outdoor events may remain open with restrictions (such as masking).
- spectators at seated outdoor events limited to 50 per cent capacity.
- drive-in and drive through events permitted with restrictions, such as distancing between cars, only permitted to leave a vehicle in limited circumstances, etc.
- Indoor meeting and event spaces are closed with limited exceptions but outdoor spaces are permitted to remain open with restrictions.
- Outdoor events have no limits on number of attendees, but face coverings and/or masks must be worn when distancing (two metres or more) cannot be maintained.
- Businesses and organizations are required to ensure employees work remotely unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site.
- Half of Toronto’s public libraries will be closed with the remainder operating at 50 per cent capacity.
- Businesses that provide in-person teaching or instruction (such as music classes) must operate under the following conditions:
- indoor areas are closed, except for organizations that provide health and safety training (with conditions).
- outdoor areas may remain open with restrictions in place, such as physical distancing.
- Social gathering limits are reduced to five people indoors and 10 people outdoors.
For the complete list of measures, visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/public-health-measures
Federal Government supports
On December 22, 2021, the Federal government announced that it would temporarily expand eligibility for key COVID-19 support programs. This includes:
- Expanding the Local Lockdown Program to include employers (including those in the tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors) subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more; and reducing the current-month revenue decline threshold requirement to 25 per cent.
- Expanding the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to include workers in regions where provincial or territorial governments have introduced capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more. This benefit provides $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly affected by a COVID-19-related public health lockdown, and who have lost 50 per cent or more of their income as a result.
These regulations apply to claims from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022. Other relevant existing supports include the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program and the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program.
Provincial Government supports
The provincial government is expanding the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program for small businesses affected by the measures.
- Eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity will receive rebate payments for a portion of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to these measures.
- Eligible businesses required to reduce capacity to 50 per cent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their costs, while businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 per cent of their costs.
A full list of eligible business types will be made available when applications for the program open later this month. TAC will monitor this list to see if arts organizations are included.
The Ontario Government is also exploring options for providing further targeted and necessary supports for businesses and workers impacted by the province’s move into a modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen, including grants. Information about this has not yet been released. TAC will notify you of any supports that may become available.
As always, TAC will keep you informed on new developments that pertain to the arts sector, including government grants and support programs.
Contact TAC: Please note that TAC staff will remain available to answer your questions and provide updated information throughout the outbreak. Please contact us any time.
Sign up here for the City of Toronto CultureTO and BusinessTO newsletters.
Please see the TAC COVID-19 Updates pages for links and resources including statements from Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council.
About Toronto Arts Council
Toronto Arts Council (TAC) is the City of Toronto’s funding body for artists and arts organizations. Since 1974, TAC has played a major role in the city’s cultural industries by supporting a very broad range of artistic activity. From the emerging artist to the most established, from celebrated institutions to arts that challenge convention, TAC is typically the first funder to offer support. Today, TAC grants lead to exhibitions, performances, readings and workshops seen annually by over 5 million people. Through its ongoing funding of over $23 million annually, TAC cultivates a rich engagement between artists and audiences. It is proud to reflect Toronto’s vibrancy through the diversity of the artists, arts communities and audiences that it serves. For more about Toronto Arts Council, visit www.torontoartscouncil.org
For information, please contact Susan Wright, Deputy Director:
416-392-6802 x 211 | firstname.lastname@example.org