COVID-19 – Latest Information for Businesses

It can be hard to keep track of the rapidly changing COVID-19 information & restrictions for businesses – find the details you’re looking for below.


New Provincial Colour Stage System

For a full break down of Ontario’s new Colour Stages in response to COVID-19 restrictions please click here. The province also requires that every business has a COVID-19 Workplace Safety
Plan. For details & to download the template click here.

Hamilton is currently in CONTROL (Red) stage. For information on requirements from the City of Hamilton click here. For the City’s general COVID-19 page click here. Still have questions as a business owner? The City’s dedicated Public Health number for the business community only is 905-974-9848 option 4.

Some notable points for businesses in the Red stage:

  • Contact tracing is a requirement for businesses in the Red Zone – collecting names and phone numbers for customers that enter or visit the businesses. Many businesses have already been doing this, these names and numbers must be kept on file for 30 days. This is covered in the Workplace Safety Plan but is important to note.
  • Retail stores are not limited to 10 people however physical distancing must be maintained at all times. The count permitted will be based on the square footage of the business similar to when reopening began in the summer.
  • Restaurants in the Red stage are limited to 10 patrons indoors (excluding staff) and a maximum of 4 people per table.
  • Face shields (eye coverings) are now a requirement in any situation where an employee comes within 2 metres of customers/patrons and there is no plexi-glass in place. This is key for restaurants – servers must now wear face masks (eye coverings) AND a mask when serving those sitting at tables who are unmasked. This would also apply (for example) to a reception desk that doesn’t have plexi-glass in place and where the 2m distancing is not maintained at all times.
  • Patrons lining up outside businesses must be
    physically distanced AND wearing masks. There is an expectation that there will be an employee at the entrance to a business doing crowd control and ensuring that there is no overcrowding.
  • There is now proactive enforcement in place at both the Provincial and Municipal levels and businesses will be visited in regards to compliance.


Resources for businesses forced to close due to their Colour Stage (ie. cinemas in the Red stage)

can be found here.


Additional Information & Resources for Businesses

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Hamilton, Hamilton Economic Development, and the Flamborough and Stoney Creek Chambers of Commerce, have created a comprehensive website featuring developments pertaining to COVID-19. Click here to view a summary of information including Government Assistance,
Small Business Support, Exporting & Trade Resources, Employment & Legal Assistance and
Transportation Resources.


For general COVID-19 information from the Federal Government including case numbers, travel restrictions, symptoms, and more click here.

For information from the Federal Government on transitioning from CERB to new benefits please click here.

A proposal has been made to continue the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) until June 2021, including possible changes to the rates and top-up calculation. Check back soon for details here. Updates on the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy can be found here.


To view eligibility to apply for COVID-19 Provincial grants – Main Street Relief Grant for Personal protective equipment (PPE) & Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grants – please click here.


Personal Protective Equipment 

Find PPE Suppliers

Support our local businesses offering back to work solutions:



The Downtown Update is the e-newsletter sent by the Downtown Hamilton Business Improvement Area to keep both members of the BIA and interested supporters of Downtown up-to-date with activities and issues in the core of our community.