For Immediate Release | October 01/2020

New provincial legislation: Effective September 25, 2020 – All businesses in Ontario must screen workers and essential visitors who enter their premises


Effective September 25, 2020, all businesses in Ontario must screen workers and essential visitors who enter their premises. Workers include staff, students, contractors and volunteers, and essential visitors include those providing a service in the establishment who are not employees or patrons of the establishment (such as delivery, maintenance and contract workers).


The Ontario Government announced this new requirement on Friday, September 25, 2020, with the amendment of O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (the “Amendment”). The screening requirements are part of a broader obligation to comply with any advice, recommendations, and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (the “CMO”) on screening for COVID-19.


The CMO’s specific screening recommendations are set forth in the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces (Businesses and Organizations) (the “Screening Tool”). Note that the Screening Tool is not intended for healthcare workplaces and certain other non-health care workplaces where screening is already in place (such as congregate living settings).


The Screening Tool states that it is not intended to apply to patrons or customers entering the workplace. However, employers may make their own decisions as to whether or not patrons and customers should be screened prior to entering their establishments, keeping in mind their duty to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers.


The Screening Tool does not provide guidance on how it should be implemented – for example, whether the responses should be done in writing or orally, or whether the information should be collected and stored somewhere. Accordingly, employers will have to decide for themselves how best to implement the Screening Tool in their workplace.


For a PDF sample screening tool local businesses can download, please visit: PDF Screening Tool

To view the Dufferin Board of Trade’s online screening tool, please visit

DOBT Members, if you would like information on how to easily create your own online screening tool for your business for free, please email [email protected]