City urges businesses to do their part to follow Red guidelines

(Barrie, ON) The City needs the support of Barrie businesses to protect the local economy and respect the health restrictions.Municipalities in Simcoe Muskoka moved into the Red-Control level of restriction on December 14. The Red level means broader-scale measures and restrictions across multiple sectors, and restrictions are the most severe available before widescale business or organizational closure.

Businesses must operate in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, including recommendations and instructions on physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting.

Now that Barrie is in the Red-Control level, here are some of the key guidelines that must be followed (a full list of guidelines is available from theHealth Unit and theGovernment of Ontario):

Retail stores

Capacity must be limited so that every member of the public is able to maintain two metres of physical distancing from every other person.

Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues must be managed by the venue, and two metres distance and face coverings are required in line-ups.

Fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls.Screening of employees is required.Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possibleA safety plan is required and available upon request.Malls can remain open if they ensure that any interior dining spaces inside the mall, including any tables and seating in food courts, are closed.

Large employers and manufacturersThe Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit recommends the practice of cohorting staff. Ensuring that staff that work together performing similar tasks remain as a 'bubble' or team while working or when entering/leaving the facility where possible with limiting interaction with others.Limit the number of workers working in one space so that they can distance themselves from each other by:Staggering shifts and break times and scheduling more time for cleaning.Practicing physical distancing during breaks.Limit the number of people sharing equipment or tools.Screening of all employees is recommended under Health Guidelines and in some cases required under legislation.

Restaurants and barsLine-ups and patrons congregating inside and outside venues must be managed by the venue, and two metres distance and face coverings are required in line-ups.

10 patrons seated indoors. Patrons must be seated and two metres minimum or impermeable barrier is required between tables. Limit of four people per table.Face coverings required except when eating or drinking only.Contact information must be gathered for all seated customers.Outdoor dining, take out, drive through, and delivery is permitted, including alcohol.Dancing, singing and the live music is not allowed.Personal protective equipment, including eye protection, is required when is a worker comes within two metres of another person who is not wearing a face covering.Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m.-5 a.m.; liquor can only be sold/served between 9 a.m.-9 p.m.Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible.A safety plan is required and available upon request.

Additional details regarding requirements of the Red–Control zone are available at….

All local businesses have also been directed by the Health Unit to:

Appoint a Compliance Officer responsible for the implementation of a COVID-19 safety plan and the compliance with that safety plan, as well as the implementation and compliance with all required and recommended health and safety and infection prevention and control measures.Take appropriate infection prevention and control measures such as environmental cleaning in all areas accessible to the public, including washrooms, check-out counters, concession stands, and other high-touch surfaces.

With the weekend before Christmas fast approaching and the potential for many out-of-town shoppers patronizing Barrie businesses, the City urges all establishments to follow the guidelines. There will be further proactive enforcement and review of businesses to ensure they are meeting all health and safety requirements. 

“The only way we can avoid a full lockdown and protect our local economy is to follow the guidelines," says Michael Prowse, CAO. “We all need to do our part to help stop the spread of this pandemic before it worsens."  

For more information,


Media Contact
Melanie Rumley
Communications Advisor
The City of Barrie
(705) 739-4220 ext. 4578