When and how each province is reopening across Canada

Manitobans can already grab a pint on a patio and golfers can tee-off in Alberta as COVID-19 emergency restrictions begin easing across the country

As of Monday, May 4, provinces have started slowly lifting COVID-19 restrictions as they reopen stores, schools, parks and non-urgent healthcare services. Manitobans can already grab a pint on a patio, golfers can now tee-off in Alberta and Quebec elementary school students are heading back to class next week.

Here’s a breakdown of the multi-phased reopening plans for each province.


Since April 29, the number of new cases in Alberta has been on a general decline and, as of early May, the province has begun reopening some health services. Alberta’s full reopening plan is in three stages, with the first beginning as early as May 14. In crowded public spaces where physical distancing may not be possible, mask use will be strongly recommended.

Already reopened:

  • Health-care specialist services including dentists, physiotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists and dieticians
  • Golf courses, with restrictions to keep clubhouses, pro shops and restaurants closed
  • Boat launch access in select provincial parks

Stage one (as early as May 14)

  • Some retail shops including clothing, furniture and book stores
  • All farmers’ markets
  • Some personal services like hair salons and barber shops
  • Cafes, restaurants and bars can reopen public seating at 50 per cent capacity and will all have table service
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Daycares, summer camps and summer school, with occupancy limits

Stage two (timing TBD)

  • Potential opening of elementary and high schools
  • Libraries
  • More personal services like manicures, pedicures and massage therapy
  • Larger gatherings in some situations, with the number of people TBD

Stage three (timing TBD)

  • Full reopening all businesses and services
  • Large gatherings permitted, with the number of people TBD
  • Arts and culture festivals, concerts, sporting events and conferences, with some restrictions

British Columbia

British Columbians will soon be able to host small gatherings and hike in provincial parks in time for the long weekend. The province announced its reopening plan, which begins in mid-May. 

Phase two (Mid-May to June)

  • As of mid-May small social gatherings up to six people will be permitted 
  • Elective surgeries and health services including physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropractors and in-person counselling 
  • Provincial parks for day use and in June, camping at provincial parks 
  • Retail sector 
  • Hair salons, barber shops 
  • Restaurants, cafes and pubs with sufficient physical distancing measures 
  • Museums, art galleries and libraries 
  • Office-based worksites 
  • Parks, beaches and outdoor spaces 
  • Childcare 

Phase three (June to September)

  • Hotels and resorts 
  • Film industry production 
  • Movie theatres, symphony, but not large concerts

Phase four (timing TBD)

  • Conventions, live audience professional sports and tourism 


As May 6, in Manitoba, there have been a total of seven deaths and 284 cases of coronavirus. The province has already eased many restrictions with Manitobans now allowed to drink on patios, go to the hair salon or shop at malls, and more measures are slated to be lifted as early at June 1.

Already reopened (Phase one)

  • Health-care services, like dentistry, physiotherapy and optometry
  • All retail businesses, including malls
  • Patio and walk-up services restored at restaurants
  • Hair salons, barber shops
  • Museums, galleries and libraries
  • Campgrounds

Phase two (beginning no earlier than June 1)

  • Expanding public gatherings
  • Dine-in service at restaurants
  • Film productions
  • Non-contact children’s sports

Future openings (timing TBD)

  • Performing arts venues
  • Large gatherings and events

Nova Scotia

Last week, Nova Scotia lifted restrictions on outdoor activities, and reopened parks and trails. Premier Stephen McNeil said the reasoning was because “getting outdoors for recreation is important for people’s physical and mental health,” while warning that if there was an increase in positive cases the restrictions would return. The province is still developing a phased plan to further lift restrictions.

Already reopened:

  • Provincial and municipal parks
  • Sport fishing from shore and boat
  • Boating, yacht or sailing clubs for the purpose of preparing boats for use
  • Community gardens, nurseries, garden centres
  • Golf driving ranges
  • People can use their cottages, but restricted to one household per cottage
  • Drive-in religious services

New Brunswick

New Brunswick was the first province to begin relaxing restrictions in late April. The province’s multi-phased, coloured-coded approach involves implementing a “two-household bubble,” which allows households can choose to visit and socialize with one other household if both households agree to the arrangement. Restrictions may be reinstated at any time.

Already reopened, as part of Orange phase

  • Golf courses, with clubhouses and restaurants remaining closed
  • Drive-in religious services
  • Two-household bubble
  • Elective surgeries

Yellow phase (timing TBD)

  • More medical and personal services, including hair salons, dentistry and massage therapy
  • Physical distancing restrictions to be loosened to allow for households to see close friends and family outside of their “two-household bubble”
  • Schools and daycares, with restrictions
  • Face masks would continue to be required

Green phase (timing TBD)

  • Final phase will likely only be implemented after a vaccine for COVID-19 is created and made widely available throughout the province

Newfoundland and Labrador

The province’s reopening model follows five “alert level” plan that began loosening measures in late April. Like New Brunswick, Newfound and Labrador introduced a two-household bubble, but the first restrictions will not be lifted until May 11, during stage four.

Soon to be reopened, Alert 4 (May 11)

  • Golf courses
  • Municipal parks, but playground equipment is restricted
  • Limited expansion of childcare services
  • Accounting and law firms, and financial services
  • Garden centres and landscape services
  • Animal daycares
  • Recreational fishing and hunting

Alert 3 (timing TBD)

  • Funerals, burials and weddings, with a maximum capacity of 20 people
  • Campsites for day use
  • Summer day camps, with restrictions
  • Outdoor pools with a limited number people
  • Retail stores and malls, with restrictions
  • Spas, hair salons and other personal service facilities
  • Restaurants with reduced occupancy

Alert 2 (timing TBD)

  • Gym and fitness facilities
  • Arenas, indoor pools, campsites are permitted to offer overnight stays, playground equipment
  • Bars and lounges, with reduced capacity
  • Movie theatres, bingo halls and other indoor entertainment facilities, with reduced capacity

Alert 1 (timing TBD)

  • All restrictions lifted


Premier Doug Ford has announced a three-stage “road map” for reopening the province and began easing restrictions on May 4. Dates were not provided for phased reopening, nor what businesses and services fall into each stage. Before the province moves onto the next stage, there must a consistent two-to-four week decline in daily COVID-19 cases. 

Already reopened 

  • Community gardens
  • Lawn-care and landscaping services 
  • No-touch carwashes, auto dealers by appointment
  • Site preparations for construction projects
  • Essential construction projects such as schools, municipal projects and telecom and broadband projects 
  • Preparations at marinas and golf courses 

May 8 & 9

  • Garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores, safety supply stores

May 11

  • Retailers with street entrances for curbside pickup 
  • Provincial parks and conservation areas for day use

Prince Edward Island

The province’s four-phase plan began on May 1.

Already reopened (phase one)

  • Golf courses, driving and shooting ranges
  • Marinas and yacht clubs
  • Landscaping, construction projects outdoors, as well indoor projects as per physical distancing guidelines
  • Health services, including physiotherapy, optometry and occupational therapy

Phase 2 (May 22)

  • Small indoor gatherings, such as watching a movie, with people from different households. No sharing food or equipment among people from different households
  • Retail business, but no trying on clothes in stores
  • Daycares
  • Additional non-urgent healthcare services, including registered massage therapists and acupuncturists
  • Greenhouses, nurseries
  • Remaining construction, maintenance and repair services
  • Cleaning services, pest control, car washes, bottle depots
  • Select personal services, including hair salons, barber shops and pet grooming

Phase 3 (potential start date, June 12)

  • Reintroduce gatherings of 15 people indoors and 20 people outdoors
  • Daycares
  • Organized recreational activities like soccer, baseball, football and day camps
  • Swimming pools, outdoor spas, arenas, gyms, fitness facilities, yoga studios
  • Art galleries, museums, libraries
  • Restaurants, but no buffets, no sharing of utensils and only members of the same household can dine together

Phase 4 (timing TBD)

  • All previous restrictions lifted, including spending time with family members in long-term care homes, large gatherings, festivals and events


So far, Quebec is the only province that has a date for school re-openings, with elementary school students headed back to classrooms by as early as May 11. Students in Montreal, which remains the region hardest hit in the province, will go back the following week. The interim leader of opposition in Quebec, Pierre Arcand, has called on premier Francois Legault to delay loosening measures in Montreal until there was increased testing. The full reopening plan will be announced in the upcoming weeks and will be determined by region.

Already reopened:

  • Retail businesses in all jurisdictions, except for in the Greater Montreal area, that have a door with exterior access

Soon to be reopened:

  • As of May 11, all pre-schools and elementary schools will be progressively reopened in the province, with the exception of Montreal area. At elementary schools, class sizes will be limited to a maximum of 15 people and physical distancing measures will be in place.
  • Daycares will also be reopened as of May 11.
  • Construction across sectors will start May 11. Manufacturing companies will also resume activities, with some restrictions   
  • Starting on May 18, retail stores with direct exterior access in the Montreal will reopen.
  • “If the situation allows,” Montreal area schools will reopen on May 19.

Later reopening dates:

  • Secondary schools will remain closed until September 2020


Already opened, as part of phase one

  • Health-care services including dentistry, optometry, physical therapy and occupational therapy
  • Boat launches in provincial parks
  • Community gardens

Phase two (May 19)

  • Non-essential retail businesses, including clothing, shoe, flower, vaping, sporting goods and book shops
  • Malls will reopen, but food courts are restricted to pick-up only. Seating areas will be closed.
  • Barber shops, hair salons, acupuncturists and registered massage therapist services

Phase three (timing TBD)

  • Other personal services can reopen, including tattoo studios, nail salons and sun tanning parlours
  • Restaurants, bars, cafes and lounges, with 50 per cent capacity
  • Gyms and fitness facilities- Bars- Childcare facilities
  • Public and private gatherings will be increased to 15 people

Phase four (timing TBD)

  • All recreation and entertainment facilities, including casinos, arenas, bingo halls, swimming pools, municipal parks, playgrounds, movie theatres and museums
  • All seasonal programming, including camps and recreational activities

Phase five (timing TBD)

  • Lifting restriction on size of public gatherings


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