As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, a State of Emergency and Provincewide Stay-at-Home Order are in effect until at least May 20, 2021. This puts in place shutdown measures to help to stop the rapid transmission of COVID-19 variants in communities, protect hospital capacity and save lives. The COVID-19 Response Framework (colour-coded zones) is paused at this time.
Visit the Current Level page for more details.
Some requirements for specific sectors under the Provincewide Shutdown and Stay-at-Home Order are outlined below. Full details can be found on the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Shutdown website, as well as in Ontario Regulation 82/20 (Schedules 1-5) and the Stay-at-Home Order Regulation 265/21.
Restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments are closed for indoor and outdoor service.
Take out, drive through and delivery is permitted, including alcohol.
For more details, see the Guidance for Food Premises resource.
- In-person shopping permitted for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies, discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres, subject to a capacity limit of 25%.
- In-person sales at discount and big box retailers is limited to essential items, including groceries, household cleaning supplies, personal care items, pharmacy items and pet supplies.
- Non-essential retail is limited to curbside pick-up and delivery only.
- Stores must post capacity limit publicly.
- Access to shopping malls will be limited to curbside pick-up and delivery only, by appointment.
- Mall food courts can only be open for take-out and delivery.
- Masks/face coverings and 2 metres of physical distance are required at all times.
- Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues are to be managed by the venue. Patrons must maintain at least 2 metres distance from each other and masks/face coverings are required.
- Music cannot be played at a decibel level that exceeds level of normal conversation.
- A COVID-19 safety plan is required to be prepared and posted.
- Retail businesses should ensure that the patron screening poster is in place at public entrances.
- Indoor shopping malls are required to actively screen all patrons, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
All personal service settings must be closed.
For more information, see the Guidance for Personal Service Settings resource (applicable only under the COVID-19 Response Framework, not under the current Provincewide Shutdown and Stay-at-Home Order).
There are special considerations for worksites that provide communal living arrangements for staff, such as mines in remote locations:
- Infection prevention and control measures should be followed. All workers and essential visitors should be instructed to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and inform their supervisor as soon as they begin to feel unwell. Workers and essential visitors should be screened at the start and end of each shift.
- Instruct staff who answer YES to any screening questions to go home, self-isolate immediately and call the Assessment Centre nearest them or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
- When it is not possible for staff experiencing symptoms to go home, immediately place them away from others and call TBDHU for further direction. Be prepared to support staff to access testing and safely self-isolate.
- Wherever possible, provide separate rooms, units or an alternate shelter location for the purpose of self-isolation. Ideally, this location would also have a separate washroom.
- Encourage staff in self-isolation to keep a 2 metre distance from others and to wear a mask (especially in indoor public settings and public transportation). Ensure staff are educated on the proper use of masks and have access to clean masks.
- If separate isolation rooms are not possible, mitigate risk of transmission through other means (e.g. group isolation in a separate room or floor, spacing and placement of beds or furnishings, temporary physical barriers between beds, frequent cleaning and disinfection routines). Open windows to increase ventilation.
The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario has released guidelines for dentists: COVID-19: Managing Infection Risks During In-Person Care.
Public Services Health and Safety Association has released Health and Safety Guidance during COVID-19 for Dental Offices.
Schools and Child Care
- Schools, both elementary and secondary, are closed to in-person learning.
- Child care centres can remain open; programming for school-aged children is closed.
- Provisions will be made for continued in-person support for students with special education needs.
- Post-secondary institutions can be open for virtual instruction. In-person instruction is limited (for example, clinical training, trades) and includes examinations. In-person cannot exceed 10 persons, with limited exceptions.
- Please visit the Safe Return page for current information and resources.
- All day and overnight camps are not permitted.
Facilities for indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities are closed, except for specific purposes, such as:
- day camps
- child care
- mental health support services or addictions support services (to a maximum of 10 people)
- the provision of social services
This includes gymnasiums, health clubs, community centres, multi-purpose facilities, arenas, exercise studios, yoga and dance studios and other fitness facilities.
Outdoor recreational amenities are closed. This includes:
- Outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, including:
- golf courses
- baseball diamonds
- soccer fields
- tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts
- basketball courts
- BMX parks
- skate parks
- portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment
- picnic sites and picnic tables
Parks or recreational areas may be open to walk through or to use portions of the park or recreational area.
Playgrounds, play structures, and equipment can be used by children if everyone can maintain at least two metres from others.
Outdoor parks and recreational areas, off-leash dog parks and benches in parks or recreational areas can be used as long as physical distance is maintained.
A permitted outdoor recreational amenity may only open if:
- any person who enters or uses the amenity maintains a physical distance of at least two metres from other person using the amenity (excluding members of the same household).
- mask/face coverings are worn when lined up.
- team sports, or other sports or games where people may come within two metres of each other, are not practiced or played within the amenity.
- any locker rooms, change rooms, showers and clubhouses remain closed, except to the extent they provide access to equipment storage, a washroom or a portion of the amenity that is used to provide first aid.
No person is permitted to use an outdoor recreational amenity that is required to be closed.
Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments must be closed.
- Closed, including for drive-in cinemas/performances.
- Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event remains permitted, with the following restrictions:
- Performers and employees must maintain 2 metres physical distance except for the purposes of the performance.
- Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or other impermeable barrier.
- A COVID-19 safety plan must be prepared and posted.
The Ontario government, in partnership with Ontario’s health and safety associations, has released more than 170 health and safety guidance resources covering a wide range of workplaces.