Ontario real estate association calls for agents to halt open houses

Open house

The Ontario Real Estate Association is asking agents to halt plans for open houses, as the province reports a record high of 939 new COVID-19 cases on Friday.

Open houses resumed in mid-July as part of the province's Stage 3 reopening plan, which at the time allowed gatherings of 50 people, or 30-per-cent capacity, with physical distancing enforced.

On Friday, the province announced a modified return to Stage 2 COVID-19 restrictions, which would limit open houses to 10 people.

Real estate association president Sean Morrison says that notwithstanding the 10-person limit, he encourages members to shift open showings virtually.

Morrison says agents and brokers can still follow safety precautions for private showings, which involve less risk than an afternoon drop-in model.

After earlier calling for a government moratorium on open houses, Morrison says he is reviewing whether the 10-person limit is adequate.