Government of Ontario Announcement on COVID-19 Liability Protection Legislation
November 18, 2020

Ontario Soccer, in consultation with Canada Soccer and the Government of Ontario, continues to monitor the most recent developments surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the resulting public health crisis and Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Plan.

The Government of Ontario has announced that the Supporting Ontario's Recovery Act, 2020, has passed a third reading in the Legislature and will now receive Royal Assent. This Act will provide liability protection for workers, volunteers and organizations that make an honest effort to follow public health guidelines and laws relating to exposure to COVID-19. At the same time, it will maintain the right of Ontarians to take legal action against those who willfully, or with gross negligence, endanger others.

The Supporting Ontario's Recovery Act, 2020 will provide targeted protection for those who are making an honest effort to follow public health guidelines and laws, including:

  • Healthcare workers and institutions;
  • Frontline workers who serve the public everywhere from grocery stores to restaurants and retail stores;
  • Businesses and their employees;
  • Charities, non-profit organizations; and
  • Coaches, volunteers and minor sports associations

This topic has been a top priority among amateur sports organizations in Ontario. Ontario Soccer has been actively advocating for months, in front of various key decision making bodies, to protect all levels of amateur sport who are following Return to Play Safety protocols during this global pandemic.

In order to ensure your organization is protected under the legislation, you must make certain that you have safety protocols in place; all members are properly documented for contact tracing and are registered. This means registering all participants within the Ontario Soccer Club & Academy Registry (OSCAR). Failure to do so will put your organization at risk and could result in the removal of liability protection under the Act.

Ontario Soccer has recently worked with the relevant Government Health and Sport authorities to update our Return to Play Guide to reflect the government’s revised framework in relation to our three-phase approach.

To ensure your protocols are up to date, Organizations are now required to review the updated Return to Play Guide and Plan which contains the revised information for each Phase, designated by four colours, to ensure their plan is up to date. 

Ontario Soccer advises that all member organizations ensure they know which health unit they are located in. Click here to find your Public Health Unit and click here to find what zone your Public Health Unit is in.

Member organizations are encouraged to stay in contact with their local Public Health Unit and Municipality in the event these organizations have implemented additional restrictions that may impact their soccer operations.

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