This is a high-level overview of BPAC’s Stage 3 reopening strategy. Other detailed strategies are being developed to meet requirements as time goes on. Information is subject to change based on updated guidelines from Public Health.
Updated October, 2020
Indoor & Outdoor Events & Gatherings
The following guidelines will be implemented in preparation for reopening BPAC to the public while reducing the spread of COVID-19. Indoor and outdoor events covered within these guidelines include both BPAC Presents programming as well as rental activity during Stage 3.
Under the Reopening Ontario Act – Stage 3 Orders, organized public events and gatherings are currently limited to a maximum of 50 members of the public/patrons indoors and 100 members of the public/patrons outdoors with the following restrictions:
- Indoor capacity limits apply to events that are fully or partially indoors. Indoor events and gatherings cannot be combined with an outdoor event or gathering to increase the applicable gathering size.
- Audiences are subject to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least two metres and cannot exceed gathering limits of 50 indoors and 100 outdoors. This applies to the entire facility, regardless of the number of theatres or performance stages within the facility.
- Performers and staff are not included in the gathering limits
- The number of persons permitted shall be limited so that every member of the public is able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres/six feet from every other person outside their household or social circle.
- All staff, performers, volunteers, rental clients and others providing service for the event must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres/six feet from every other person, except:
- if it is necessary for the performers to be closer to each other for the purposes of the performance or rehearsal;
- where necessary to facilitate the purchase of admission, food or beverages; or
- where necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
- Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any spectators by at least two metres/six feet, or by an impermeable barrier (e.g. plexiglass) if physical distancing cannot be achieved.
Gathering Limit Exceptions:
- Indoor gatherings for the purposes of religious services, rites or ceremonies, and wedding ceremonies or funeral services are limited to up to 30% of the venue’s capacity (Main Theatre: 223, Studio Theatre: 66, Lobby: 226).
- Social gatherings associated with wedding, funeral or religious services, rites or ceremonies (e.g. receptions) must comply with Stage 3 indoor and outdoor gathering limits.
Physical distancing means keeping a distance of two metres/six feet from others. BPAC will modify the layout and seating plan for each venue to ensure enough space is provided for patrons, volunteers, performers and staff to maintain physical distancing.
- The maximum number of attendees permitted will be calculated according to current provincial regulations or physical distancing requirements, whichever is less and the number of patrons permitted will be limited accordingly.
- The maximum number of patrons that should be permitted at any one time based on physical distancing requirements can be calculated as one person per two metres squared (four square metres or 43 square feet) of publicly accessible floor space.
- BPAC’s box office services must be used to issue tickets, even for free events.
- Entry and exit points will be managed to control the number of patrons entering the venue. If the maximum number of patrons is reached, one person will be allowed in for every person that leaves.
- For events on our outdoor Plaza, fencing will be used to enclose the event space and manage pedestrian and patron traffic.
- Where possible, arrivals, departures and breaks will be staggered to reduce congestion at points of entrance and exit and in common areas like the Family Lobby.
- Venue/floor plans will be modified and arranged to maintain physical distancing and reduce contact.
- Seating will be assigned or arranged to ensure minimum two metres/six feet distance between patrons who are not members of the same household or social circle.
- An attendee flow will be designed that encourages one-way movement with prominent signage and/or floor markings.
- Floor marking and aisle signage will be implemented or increased to allow patrons to find their seats more easily.
- We will ensure enough space for people in high traffic areas, between chairs, tables, and places where people may gather.
- Areas where crowding and bottlenecks are common will be identified, such as the Family Lobby and restrooms, and signage, volunteers, staff and/or barriers to redirect patrons who may gather in these areas will be used.
- A minimum distance of at least two metres/six feet between performers and audience seating will be maintained by blocking off the front two rows of patrons seating in the Main Theatre, if necessary.
- A plexiglass shield is required between the audience and singers as well as players of brass or wind instruments.
- Customer lines will be managed and monitored outside and within the venue.
- Physical distancing signage will be posted at all entrances, as well as at the box office windows and the bar areas.
- Visual/textural markers spaced two metres/six feet apart will be placed (e.g. tape on the floor, pylons, signs) to encourage physical distancing and guide attendees.
- Staff and volunteers will be assigned to monitor lines and to public announcements will be played, reminding patrons to keep two metres/six feet apart.
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette Will Be Supported and Encouraged
- Wash your Hands, Cover your Cough, Protect Yourself signs will be posted in high traffic areas
- Hand sanitizer dispensers (70-90% alcohol concentration) will be placed by entrances and throughout the venue for everyone to use.
- An adequate supply of liquid soap, paper towel, hand sanitizer, tissues, and waste receptacles will be provided throughout the venue and in washrooms.
Mandatory Mask Usage
- All staff, volunteers, patrons and performers must wear a mask or face covering indoors, as per the City of Burlington bylaw. Some exceptions apply, including children under the age of two, and people with medical conditions that make wearing a mask difficult. Performers are also exempt where wearing a mask interferes with ability to perform.
- Masks or face coverings will be strongly recommended outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Staff and volunteers will be provided with PPE equipment and educated on the proper use and disposal of masks.
- Rental clients, performers and patrons are responsible for providing their own PPE.
Ticket Sales and Concessions
- Online or telephone ticket purchases are encouraged to minimize line-ups at the box office.
- Staggered arrival times may be implemented to limit on-site queuing.
- Plexiglass shields will be installed at the box office windows and the bar.
- Electronic payment by debit or credit card, and to tap instead of using the PIN pad is encouraged.
- A contactless transaction process to scan tickets is in place.
- Communal food catering services are not permitted (e.g. buffets, passing of hors-d’oeuvres).
- Where BPAC provides bar service for an event, this will be table/seat service only.
- Activities where distances or other appropriate controls cannot be implemented such as photo opportunities, autographs, backstage access, etc. will be limited or canceled at BPAC’s discretion.
- Sufficient time will be allowed for between events to allow for disinfecting and sanitization.
Enhanced Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection
- Contractors and staff have been assigned to complete frequent and thorough environmental cleaning and disinfection duties.
- Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects in staff, volunteer, performer and patron areas (e.g. doorknobs, tabletops, railings) will occur at least twice a day and when visibly dirty.
- Ensure washrooms and hand sinks are cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day, or as frequently as necessary to maintain a sanitary environment.
- Provide waste receptacles lined with a plastic bag, and empty as often as necessary.
Maintain Healthy Operations
Health and safety protocols for staff and volunteers
- Review the COVID-19 Guidance for Employers, Workplaces and Businesses to plan and implement protocols to keep staff safe.
- Before each work shift and prior to participating in an event, staff, volunteers and rental clients will be asked to self-screen. Questions can be completed on paper, online, or by asking staff directly.
- Attendance policies will be implemented for staff, including maintaining a list of the names, contact information and attendance records of all staff, including performers and volunteers.
- Staff and volunteers will be trained on all new policies and protocols related to COVID-19 practices, including physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and the City of Burlington mask by-law.
Modified Working Methods
- BPAC’s Operations Manager has been assigned to ensure updated working protocols reflect good hygiene and a safe working methodology.
- Where work requires the shared handling of goods and/or close contact, proper mask/face covering and hygiene protocols will be implemented.
- Dedicated use of high exposure items (e.g. microphones), and frequent disinfecting of high-touch equipment will be ensured.
Patron Health Screening
- Communications will be sent to patrons in advance of the event to share information on protocols and expected behaviours. The message that people should not attend if they are ill will be reinforced in these communications.
- On-site posters will be used to encourage passive screening before entering the venue. Anyone who answers YES to any of the screening questions will be directed to go home and self-isolate, and contact Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 or go to an assessment centre to get tested.
Plans if Someone Becomes Ill or Tests Positive for COVID-19
- Protocols will be developed in advance that specifically address how to safely care for patrons who develop COVID-19 related symptoms, or who need care (e.g. injury, illness, emotional upset) while at the event.
- A space will be designated where patrons can be isolated from others if they develop symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 until they can go home safely in a private vehicle and/or undergo medical assessment.
- Contact information for at least one individual per party who attends the event will be kept by the box office. Any personal information that is collected for COVID-19 contract tracing can only be used for this purpose, unless an individual provides their consent. Records should only be kept for 30 days, and then shredded.
Increased Public Health Awareness
- Information will be provided to staff, volunteers and patrons about event/venue operations (e.g. public health measures, available amenities) through all of our communication platforms, including website, social media accounts, TixHub, etc.
- Posters will be displayed in high visibility areas throughout the venue to promote messages about how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Respiratory transmission: COVID-19 is an illness that is spread mainly from person-to-person through close contact from respiratory droplets of someone with COVID-19. The respiratory droplets can travel up to two metres/six feet when we cough, sneeze or talk. The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of COVID-19 infection and spread.
- Contaminated surfaces: It is possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. The virus can survive on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to 72 hours.
Protective Measures to Keep Everyone Safe
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Keep a two metre/six feet distance from others, when possible.
- Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Wear a mask or face covering when you are in indoor public spaces, as per the City By-law and when you cannot maintain two metre distance outdoors.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
COVID-19 Guidance for Employers, Workplaces and Businesses
Reopening Toronto Businesses & Workplaces during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Four Step Public Health Planning Guide
Risk mitigation tool for gatherings and events operating during the COVID-19 pandemic
Risk mitigation tool for outdoor recreation spaces and activities operating during the COVID-19 pandemic
Public Health Ontario’s Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings fact sheet.
Health Canada’s list of hard surface disinfectants for use against coronavirus (COVID- 19).