Open Houses in Ontario COVID-19 Hotspots Officially Prohibited

Open houses in Ontario COVID-19 hotspots are officially suspended temporarily due to the increasing daily coronavirus cases.

This marks the second time during the coronavirus pandemic that Ontario realtors have lost their ability to host in-person open houses.

As part of the province’s implemented modified Stage 2[1], realtors in Toronto, Peel, Ottawa, and York Region are now prohibited from hosting in-person open houses as a result of their recent trends in public health indicators, including higher than average rates of COVID-19 transmission.

READ: Major Real Estate Associations Call for Suspension of Open Houses[2]

The open house ban, along with the other Stage 2 restrictions, will be in place for the next 28 days and reassessed on an ongoing basis.

“We are pleased to see the Government has listened to OREA’s advice on stopping open houses in areas of the Province where COVID-19 cases are on the rise,” said Sean Morrison, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association, in a press release issued on Friday.

Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) president Lisa Patel[3] echoed Morrison and said TRREB supports the provincial government’s ban on in-person real estate open houses for the second time.

“With cases in Ontario on the rise again, we must continue to limit face-to-face interactions as much as possible and use virtual tools to the greatest extent possible,” said Patel.

“While in-person open houses are prohibited, showings to pre-qualified clients are necessary in order to facilitate and complete transactions, and Members must ensure they follow health and safety best practices when doing so.”

According to the province, open houses are now prohibited in Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York Region as of the following dates and times:

  • Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto: Saturday, October 17, 2020, at 12:01 am
  • York Region: Monday, October 19, 2020, at 12:01 am

Under the new rules from the province, in-person showings may be permitted, but they must be scheduled by appointment for buyers and sellers.

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