The Ontario government is imposing a provincewide “shutdown” in an effort to combat a recent spike in COVID-19 infections effective April 3, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.
The current COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open, will be paused when the provincewide emergency brake comes into effect.
The new restrictions in the shutdown will be similar to grey-lockdown but reducing outdoor gatherings to 5, outdoor dining closed and outdoor fitness prohibited. Drive-in events are also not permitted. (Errata: In the previous update, it was mentioned that golf courses were closed referring to the provincial website. The website now says golf courses and ski hills are allowed.)
Like in the previous lockdown, financial services like banks, health care and social services, media industries, business and workplaces in manufacturing, agriculture and food production, resources and energy, community services, research, and construction are allowed.
You may like:
– Indoor public events and social gatherings are prohibited, except for those in the same household. People who live alone can be in close contact with one other household.
– Outdoor public events and social gatherings are limited to five people, except for those in the same household. People who live alone can be in close contact with one other household.
– Supermarkets, grocery stores and other stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, are limited to 50 per cent capacity.
– All other retail stores, including big-box stores, are limited to 25 per cent capacity.
– Indoor and outdoor dining are barred at restaurants, which can only provide takeout, delivery and drive-through service.
– Personal care services are prohibited, and indoor or outdoor fitness/sports facilities such as gyms are closed, with very limited exceptions.
– Day camps are closed.
– Weddings, funerals, religious services or ceremonies are capped at 15 per cent capacity per room indoors, and to the number of people who can maintain two metres of distance outdoors. This does not include receptions linked to those events, which must abide by the restrictions on social gatherings.
Measure in Detail
Gatherings and close contact:
It is illegal to gather indoors with anyone you do not live with.
You should only go out for necessities, such as:
- work, if you can’t do it remotely
- helping vulnerable people
- exercise and physical activity
If you live alone, you can have close contact with only one other household.
You must stay at least two metres apart from everyone else and wear a mask or face covering during permitted events or social gatherings.
You should not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary.
All events and social gatherings:
- Indoors: not allowed, except with members of your household (or one other household if you live alone)
- Outside: 5 people
Weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies
For weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies:
- physical distancing must be maintained
- guests must wear masks or face coverings
- capacity limits:
- indoors: 15% capacity of the room
- outside: the number of people that can maintain two metres physical distance from each other
Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies permitted, subject to certain conditions.
Virtual services permitted.
Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments
- All indoor and outdoor service
Night clubs and strip clubs only permitted to open if they operate as a food or drink establishment.
Supermarkets, convenience stores, indoor farmer’s markets and other stores that primarily sell food
- in-person retail (50% capacity where two metres physical distancing can be maintained)
- curbside pick-up
- in-person retail (50% capacity, where two metres physical distancing can be maintained)
- curbside pick-up
All other retail (including liquor, cannabis, hardware and pet stores)
- in-person retail (25% capacity, where two metres physical distancing can be maintained)
- curbside pick-up
Open, with the following conditions:
- maximum capacity 25% per store, where two metres physical distancing can be maintained
- inside dining spaces closed (includes food courts)
- music must be low enough for normal conversation to be possible
- indoor shopping malls must actively screen patrons in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter
Motor vehicle sales
- Includes cars, trucks and motorcycles; recreational vehicles including motor homes; trailers and travel trailers; boats and other watercraft; and other motorized vehicles, including power-assisted bicycles, golf carts, scooters, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles
- Members of the public must not be permitted where products are neither sold nor displayed for sale
- Subject to certain conditions related to test drives, including:
- limited to no more than 10 minutes
- a maximum of two people, including up to one sales representative permitted
- windows must be opened at all times unless if two people who are not members of the same household are present in the vehicle
Permitted services include:
- rental and leasing services, including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental
- gas stations and other fuel suppliers
- automated and self-service car washes
- laundromats and drycleaners
- snow clearing and landscaping services
- security services for residences, businesses and other properties
- domestic services to support children, seniors or vulnerable persons, including:
- indoor and outdoor cleaning and maintenance services
- vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services
- courier, postal, shipping, moving and delivery services
- funeral and related services
- staffing services including providing temporary help
- veterinary services and other businesses that provide pet services and for the health and welfare of animals, including:
- boarding kennels
- animal shelters
- research facilities
- pet groomers
- pet sitters
- pet walkers
- pet trainers (including for service animals)
Hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, cottages, resorts student residences and other shared rental accommodations
- Indoor pools, fitness centres or other recreational facilities closed.
Short-term rentals (for example, cottages, cabins) are only to be provided to individuals who are in need of housing.
With the exception of exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right, ice fishing huts may:
- only be used by to members of the same household
- not be used overnight
Campsites must be made available only for trailers and recreational vehicles that are:
- used by individuals who are in need of housing
- permitted to be there by the terms of a full season contract
Only campsites with electricity, water services and facilities for sewage disposal may be provided.
All recreational facilities in the campground and all other shared facilities in the campground, other than washrooms and showers, must be closed.
Other areas of the campground must be closed to the genera public (may only be opened for preparing the seasonal campground for reopening).
Post-secondary institutions open for virtual instruction, with limited exceptions where in-person instruction is required (e.g., clinical training, trades). Subject to physical distancing with limited exceptions.
In-person teaching (each instructional space at the institution at one time) and in-person examinations cannot exceed 10 persons, with limited exemptions for:
- diagnostic cardiac sonography and diagnostic medical sonography
- diagnostic ultrasound
- medical imaging
- medical laboratory assistant and Medical laboratory technician
- medical radiation technology
- mental health and addictions services, including psychology services, social work services and counselling services
- personal support worker, supportive care worker, home care worker or a similar occupation
- pharmacy/pharmacy technician
- public health inspector, if the program is accredited by the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors
- rehabilitation sciences (nutrition, speech language pathology, occupational science, and physiotherapy)
- respiratory therapy
Additional requirements for in-person teaching that involves singing or the playing of brass or wind instruments.
Financial services that are permitted include:
- capital markets and related securities trading and advisory services
- banking/credit union activities including credit intermediation
- land registration services
- pension and benefits payment services
- financial services including payroll and payment processing and accounting and tax services
Real estate (including pre-sale construction)
No open houses – showing a property permitted by appointment only.
Telecommunications and IT infrastructure/service providers
Permitted businesses include:
- information technology (IT) services, including online services, software products and the facilities necessary for their operation and delivery
- telecommunications providers and services (phone, internet, radio, cell phones etc.) and facilities necessary for their operation and delivery
- newspapers, radio and television broadcasting
Maintenance, repair and property management services that manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings are allowed.
Permitted services include:
- transportation services provided by air, water, road, and rail, including taxis and other private transportation providers
- support services for transportation services, including:
- logistical support, distribution services, warehousing and storage, truck stops and tow operators, and
- services that support the operations and safety of transportation systems including maintenance and repairs
- marinas, boating clubs and other organizations that maintain docking facilities (with conditions)
- businesses that provide and support online retail, including by providing warehousing, storage and distribution of goods that are ordered online
In-person driving instruction
In-person driving instruction only permitted for:
- instruction for drivers of commercial motor vehicles
- the Ontario Driver Certification Program (administered by the Ministry of Transportation), for motor vehicles for which:
- a class of driver’s licence other than Class G, G1, G2, M, M1 or M2 is required
- an air brake endorsement is required
- students at private career colleges, in accordance with certain conditions
Businesses are permitted if they:
- extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (for example primary metal/steel, blow molding, component manufacturers and chemicals that feed the end-product manufacturer), regardless of whether those other manufacturers are inside or outside of Ontario
- support and facilitate the movement of goods within integrated North American and global supply chains
Agriculture and food production
Businesses are allowed if they:
- produce food and beverages, agricultural products (including plants), including by farming, harvesting, aquaculture, hunting and fishing
- process, manufacture or distribute:
- agricultural products
- animal products and by-products
- support the food or agricultural products supply chains and the health and safety of food, animals and plants
Construction activities or projects and related supporting services, including demolition and land surveying, are allowed.
Resources and energy
Businesses that provide and ensure the domestic and global continuity of supply of resources are allowed, including:
- resource exploration
- petroleum and petroleum by-products
Also allowed are:
- electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage
- natural gas distribution, transmission and storage
Businesses that deliver or support the delivery of community services are allowed, including:
- sewage treatment and disposal
- waste collection, transport, storage, processing, disposal or recycling
- potable drinking water
- critical infrastructure repair and maintenance including roads, dams, bridges
- environmental rehabilitation, management and monitoring, and spill clean-up and response
- administrative authorities that regulate and inspect businesses
- professional and social services that support the legal and justice system
- government services, including:
- policing and law enforcement
- fire and emergency services
- coroner and pathology services
- corrections and court services
- licences and permits
- allotment gardens or community gardens
Facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities
Only open for:
- identified high-performance athletes, including parasport athletes training and competing for the next Olympics/Paralympics, and specified professional leagues (for example, NHL and AHL
- child care, mental health and addiction support services, social services or other specified purposes (includes community centres and multi-purpose facilities, such as YMCA) – 10 people maximum
- access to physical therapy for a person with a disability (as defined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005)
Outdoor recreational amenities
Outdoor recreational amenities permitted to open, subject to conditions, include:
- parks and recreational areas
- baseball diamonds
- batting cages
- soccer, football and sports fields
- tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts
- basketball courts
- BMX parks
- skate parks
- frisbee golf locations
- cycling tracks and bike trails
- horse riding facilities
- shooting ranges, including those operated by rod and gun clubs
- ice rinks
- tobogganing hills
- snowmobile, cross country, dogsledding, ice-skating and snow-shoe trails
- portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment
- golf courses and driving ranges
- ski hills
A permitted outdoor recreational amenity may only open if:
- physical distance of at least two metres can be maintained
- team sports, or other sports or games where people may come within two metres of each other, are not practiced or played
- locker rooms, change rooms, showers and clubhouses remain closed (except for access to equipment storage, washrooms or first aid)
Businesses and organizations that maintain research facilities and engage in research, including medical research and other research and development activities, are permitted.
Health care and social services
- organizations and providers that deliver home care services or personal support services to seniors and persons with disabilities
- regulated health professionals
- professionals or organizations that provide in-person counselling services
- organizations that provide health care, including:
- retirement homes
- long-term care facilities
- independent health facilities
- mental health and addictions counselling supports
- laboratories and specimen collection centres
- manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, including:
- medical isotopes
- vaccines and antivirals
- medical devices
- medical supplies
- manufacturers, distributors and businesses that provide logistical support for products and services that support the delivery of health care
- organizations that provide critical personal support services in home or residential services for individuals with physical disabilities
- organizations that support the provision of food, shelter, safety or protection or social services and other necessities of life to economically disadvantaged and other vulnerable individuals
- businesses that are primarily engaged in the provision of health and safety training (with conditions)
- sound recording, production, publishing and distribution businesses
- commercial film and television production, including all supporting activities such as hair, makeup and wardrobe – with the following conditions:
- no studio audiences permitted to be on the film or television set
- no more than 50 performers may be on the film or television set
- the film or television set may be located in any business or place, including any business or place that is otherwise required to be closed
- set must be configured and operated in such a way as to enable persons on the set to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from other persons, except where necessary for the filming of the film or television production
- hair or makeup services providers must wear appropriate personal protective equipment
- singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier
- the person responsible for the film or television production must ensure that the production operates in accordance with the guidance document titled “Film and television industry health and safety during COVID-19” issued by the Film and Television Health and Safety Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, as amended from time to time.
- film and television postproduction, visual effects and animation studios
- book and periodical production, publishing and distribution businesses
- commercial and industrial photography
- interactive digital media businesses, including:
- computer system software or application developers and publishers
- video game developers and publishers
Circulating materials must be reserved over the telephone or online for contactless curbside, delivery or pick-up.
Patrons must only be permitted to enter the premises to facilitate the contactless drop-off and pick-up or access computers, photocopiers or similar services.
Patrons must not:
- be in the book stacks
- handle circulating materials that are shelved or in other areas of library storage
Circulating materials returned to the library must be disinfected or quarantined before they are recirculated.
Other permitted services include:
- child care services
- mental health and addiction support services, to a limit of 10 people
- social services
Businesses not permitted to open
- Amusement parks, water parks
- Bathhouses and sex clubs
- Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
- Concert venues, theatres and cinemas (includes drive in or drive through events)
- Day camps
- Horse racing (open for training only, no races or spectators)
- Museums and cultural amenities
- Personal care services
- Tour and guide services
- Zoos and aquariums (permitted to operate for the care of animals)
Rules for all businesses
All open businesses must:
- screen employees (you may use the ) covid 19 screening tool
- post signs at all entrances informing people how to screen themselves for covid 19 before entering (see COVID-19 Signage Questions for Businesses and Organizations)
- limit capacity so guests can stay at least 2 metres apart
- make sure anyone indoors wears a mask or face covering, including workers who have to come within 2 metres of anyone else (with some exceptions)
- make sure workers use personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects their eyes, nose and mouth when they have to come within 2 metres of anyone who is not wearing a mask or face covering or separated by plexiglass
- clean and disinfect often-touched surfaces, such as equipment, washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms and showers frequently
- manage line ups to make sure customers are at least two metres apart and wearing face coverings or masks
- create a safety plan, post it in a place where workers and patrons will see it and have it available upon request