Updated: Here’s the full list of lockdown restrictions in Ontario

A new province-wide state of emergency is in effect. Pandemic restrictions have been modified


Update (January 14, 2021): Ontario has announced a new state of emergency and stay-at-home order, effective January 14. Previously announced pandemic lockdown restrictions and public health guidance has been modified. This story has been updated.

After Ontario imposed new province-wide lockdown restrictions on December 26, Premier Doug Ford, declared a new state of emergency and modified the rules.

“Under this order, everyone must stay home and only go out for essential trips to pick up groceries or go to medical appointments,” Ford said. “The system is on the brink of collapse. It’s on the brink of being overwhelmed. We’re at levels we’ve never seen before.”

Ford said COVID-19 cases have spread from high-outbreak areas to areas due to people travelling between regions.

Provincial public health officials expect the hospital system to become overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients by February, and the daily death toll to double from 50 to 100 by the end of February.

Hospitals have already started cancelling scheduled surgeries due to the rise in COVID-19 patients.

Provincial public health officials have also said data shows Ontarians continue to leave their homes at higher levels than was seen during the spring lockdown, particularly over the Christmas holidays and throughout December.

The stay-at-home order took effect just after midnight on January 14 and will last at least 28-days. Schools in Windsor-Essex, Peel, Toronto, York and Hamilton will remain closed for in-person learning until February 10.

The province will provide guidance on reopening schools in northern regions on January 20.

The previously colour-coded COVID-19 response framework was suspended during the province-wide shutdown on December 26.

Here is the list of rules and restrictions for what can open and what can close during the new state of emergency in Ontario. The government’s official advice can be found here and the list of essential reasons to leave your home is here.

Public health advice

The new public health guidance advises people to stay at home except for essential reasons, work from home except when necessary to be on site, stay two-metres apart, wear face coverings indoors and stay out of indoor or outdoor recreational amenity required to be closed.

The province has given police and bylaw inspectors discretion to enforce the rules and issue tickets and fines.

The government has suspended enforcement of residential evictions, reduced gathering sizes from 10 to five people and limited hours for retailers.

Non-essential business will remain open but must close by 8 pm daily with the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores and restaurants that offer takeout or delivery.

Ontario lockdown restrictions on private gatherings

  • Indoor organized public events and social gatherings are not permitted except with members of the same household
  • Families should not visit any other household or allow visitors in their homes
  • Individuals who live alone and single parents may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation
  • Virtual gatherings or events are the safest way to visit or recognize occasions with people outside your household, especially during the holiday season
  • Maintain two metres of physical distancing from everyone outside of your household (who you do not live with)
  • Wear a face covering indoors; outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained; or if wearing one is required

Organized public events, social gatherings and religious services, rites and ceremonies

  • No indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household
  • Limit for outdoor organized public events and social gatherings, physical distancing can be maintained:
    • 5 people outdoors
  • Limit for weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies where physical distancing can be maintained and in compliance with face coverings:
    • 10 people indoors
    • 10 people outdoors
  • Virtual and drive-in gatherings, events services, rites or ceremonies permitted

Schools

  • Schools in grey zones as of December 18, 2020, remain closed until February 10, 2021 – Windsor, Toronto, Peel, York and Hamilton.
  • The Chief Medical Officer of Health will provide advice and an announcement will be made by January 20, 2021 regarding the return to in-person learning in all other PHUs.
  • The following new health and safety measures will be introduced to further support protect students province-wide:
    • Mandatory masking for students in Grades 1-3.
    • Masking requirements outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
    • Enhanced screening protocols will be introduced where recommended by the CMOH. To support this, Ontario’s COVID-19 School and Child
    • Care Screening Tool, will be updated to reflect the new screening criteria.
    • Expanded targeted testing

Child care

  • Child care for non-school aged children (and JK and kindergarten children not enrolled in school immediately prior to December 21, 2020) will remain open including child care offered in licensed centres and in home-based settings (licensed and unlicensed).
  • For regions where schools reopen for in-person learning on January 25, emergency child care for school-aged children of front-line workers will end on January 22. Before and after school programs will be authorized to resume on January 25.
  • For regions where schools reopen for in-person learning on February 10, emergency child care for school-aged children of front-line workers will end on February 9. Before and after school programs will be authorized to resume on February 10.
  • In addition to the robust health and safety practices already in place in child care settings, the following new health and safety measures will be
  • introduced to further protect children province-wide:
    • Enhanced screening to align with screening requirements at schools
    • Voluntary participation in targeted, asymptomatic testing

Businesses permitted to open

Supply chain

  • Businesses that supply businesses or places that are permitted to open within Ontario, or that supply businesses or services that have been declared essential in a jurisdiction outside of Ontario

Meeting or event space

Only permitted to open for:

  • The operation of child care centres and authorized recreational and skill building programs within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014
  • Court services
  • Government services
  • Mental health and addictions support services (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous) permitted to a maximum of 10 people
  • Social services

Short-term rentals

  • Only to be provided to individuals who are in need of housing
  • Does not apply to short-term rental accommodations that were reserved before the Safe at Home Restrictions period
  • Refer to the Services section for details on motels, hotels, lodges, resorts and other shared rental accommodation, including student residences

Restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments

  • Take out, drive through, and delivery permitted only
  • Includes the sale of alcohol

Driving instruction

  • In-person driving instruction
  • No in-person driving instruction permitted except:
    • For instruction for drivers of commercial motor vehicles
    • Where the instruction is part of the Ontario Driver Certification Program administered by the Ministry of Transportation and involves the operation of 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; or that is provided by a private career college, in accordance with certain conditions

Retailers

Supermarkets, convenience stores, indoor farmer’s markets and other stores that primarily sell food

  • Open for in-person retail, subject to:
    • Members of the public being able to maintain two metres physical distance from every other person in the business or facility and complying with face covering rules
    • The number of persons occupying any room that is open to the public does not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the particular room
  • Curbside pick-up and delivery permitted

Pharmacies

  • Open for in-person retail, subject to:
    • Members of the public being able to maintain two metres physical distance from every other person in the business or facility and complying with face covering rules
    • The number of persons occupying any room that is open to the public does not exceed 50% capacity of the particular room
  • Curbside pick-up and delivery permitted

Discount retailers and big box stores that sell groceries

  • Open for in-person retail, subject to:
    • Members of the public being able to maintain two metres physical distance from every other person in the business or facility
    • The number of persons occupying any room that is open to the public does not exceed 25% capacity of the particular room
  • Curbside pick-up and delivery permitted

Other retailers

  • Distancing and face covering rules apply
  • Operating hours of 7 am to 8 pm

Gas stations and other fuel suppliers

Safety supply stores, businesses that sell, rent or repair assistive, mobility or medical devices and optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public:

  • By appointment only
  • Limit the number of persons occupying any room that is open to the public in the business to not exceed 50% capacity of the particular room
  • Curbside pick-up and delivery permitted
  • Operating hours of 7 am to 8 pm

Stores that sell liquor, including beer, wine and spirits

  • Limit the number of persons occupying any room that is open to the public in the business does not exceed 25% of the particular room
  • Curbside pick-up and delivery permitted
  • Operating hours of 9 am to 8 pm

Shopping malls

  • Closed for in-person retail. Members of the public are only permitted to enter the mall to:
    • Access businesses and organizations permitted to be open (e.g., pharmacy, dentist); food court open for take-away, or by appointment only to facilitate pick-up as set out below
    • Access court services and government services
  • Shopping mall may establish:
    • A single designated location inside the shopping mall for order pick-up by patrons. Pick-up inside the shopping mall must be by appointment only
    • Any number of designated locations outside the shopping mall for curbside pick-up by patrons
  • Members of the public not permitted to loiter in any area of the shopping mall that is not related to the purpose of their visit
  • Must open no earlier than 7 am and close no later than 8 pm, except to provide access to grocery stores/supermarkets, pharmacies, and health care providers that only have public entrances that face the interior of the mall

Cannabis

  • Curbside pick up and delivery; operating hours are 7 am to 8 pm
  • An item may only be provided for curbside pickup if the patron ordered the item before arriving at the business premises

Garden Centres

  • Curbside pick-up and delivery permitted; Operating hours of 7 am to 8 pm
  • An item may only be provided for curbside pickup if the patron ordered the item before arriving at the business premises

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
  • By appointment only
  • 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
  • Operating hours of 7am to 8pm

Outdoor markets

  • Includes farmer’s markets and holiday markets only if they primarily sell food to the public
  • Must require members of the public to remain outdoors at all times, including for curbside pick-up or delivery
  • Operating hours of 7 am to 8 pm

General retail (including hard ware stores, pet food, computer stores, etc)

  • Curbside pick-up or delivery only (in-person retail shopping not permitted)
  • An item may only be provided for curbside pickup if the patron ordered the item before arriving at the business premises
  • Sales must be exclusively made so patrons are not required to enter the indoor area of the business, including curbside pick-up or delivery
  • Operating hours of 7 am to 8 pm

Services

The following services can continue to operate under the province-wide shutdown:

  • Gas stations and other fuel suppliers
  • Automated and self-service car washes
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners
  • Snow clearing and landscaping services
  • Security services for residences, businesses and other properties
  • Courier, postal, shipping, moving and delivery services
  • Funeral and related services
  • Staffing services including providing temporary help
  • Cheque cashing services
  • Businesses that provide pet training exclusively for service animals
  • Domestic services to support children, seniors or vulnerable persons
    • housekeeping
    • cooking
    • indoor and outdoor cleaning
    • maintenance services
  • Hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, cottages, resorts, and other shared rental accomodations, including student residents
    • Any indoor pools, indoor fitness centres, or other indoor recreational facilities that are part of the operation of these businesses, are closed
    • Pre-arranged booking for short-term rentals prohibited with exceptions for housing requirements

Animal services

  • Veterinary services that are necessary for the immediate health and welfare of the animal only, or provided through curb side pick-up and drop-off of the animal
  • Other businesses that provide for the health and welfare of animals, including farms, boarding kennels, stables, animal shelters and research facilities
  • Businesses that provide pet training exclusively for service animals

Seasonal campgrounds

  • Must be made available only for trailers and recreational vehicles used by individuals in need of housing or are permitted to be there by seasonal contract
  • Only campsites with electricity, water service and facilities for sewage disposal may be provided for use
  • All recreational and other shared facilities, excluding washrooms and showers must be closed
  • Other areas of the seasonal campground must be closed to the general public and must only be opened for the purpose of preparing the seasonal campground for reopening

Community centres

  • Permitted to open for:
    • The operation of child care centres and authorized recreational and skill building programs within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014
    • Mental health and addictions support services (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous) permitted to a maximum of 10 people
    • Social services

Real estate

  • No open houses – showing a property permitted by appointment only

Telecommunications, IT and media

  • 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
  • Retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or service may only permit members of the public to enter the premises by appointment and only for repairs or technical support
  • Newspapers, radio and television broadcasting

Maintenance

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

Transportation services

  • Transportation services provided by air, water, road, and rail, including taxis and other private transportation providers and support services for transportation services

Manufacturing

Businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (e.g. primary metal/ steel, blow molding, component manufacturers, chemicals, etc. that feed the end-product manufacturer), regardless of whether those other manufacturers are inside or outside of Ontario, together with businesses that support and facilitate the movement of goods within integrated North American and global supply chains

Agriculture and food production

  • Businesses that produce food and beverages, and agricultural products including plants, including by farming, harvesting, aquaculture, hunting and fishing
  • Businesses that process, manufacture or distribute food, beverages, crops, agricultural products, animal products and by-products
  • Businesses that support the food or agricultural products supply chains and the health and safety of food, animals and plants

Construction

  • Permitted construction activities or projects and related services, including land surveying and demolition services.
  • Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector and long-term care, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and
  • conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.
  • Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, provincial and municipal infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy, mining and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.
  • Construction projects and services that support the operations of, and provide new capacity in schools, colleges, universities, municipal infrastructure and child care centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
  • Construction projects under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program
  • Construction projects and services that support the operations of Broadband internet and cellular technologies and services.
  • Critical industrial construction activities required for, the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries, significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced, industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance, and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Construction projects that are due to be completed before July 2021 and that would provide additional capacity in the production, processing,
  • manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products.
  • Construction projects that were commenced before January 12, 2021, and that would,
    • provide additional capacity for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delivery services, or
    • provide additional capacity in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services.
  • Residential construction projects where,
    • a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
    • the project is a condominium, mixed use or other residential building, or
    • the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before January 12, 2021.
  • Construction to prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure.
  • Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing public safety.
  • Below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects, such as apartments and condominiums. The Ontario government also provided that businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines.

Construction on any project intended to provide either,
affordable housing, or shelter or supports for vulnerable persons,

If the project is being funded in whole or in part by, or is being undertaken by, any of the following:
A. the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,
B. an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,
C. a municipality,
D. a service manager as defined in the Housing Services Act, 2011, or
E. a registered charity and not for profit within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

Enhanced with:
Workplace testing
Additional enforcement to ensure compliance

Resources and energy

  • Businesses that provide and ensure the domestic and global continuity of supply of resources, including, resource exploration, mining, forestry, aggregates, petroleum, petroleum by-products and chemicals
  • Electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage and natural gas distribution, transmission and storage

Facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities

  • Closure of all indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness facilities with the exception of:
    • Facilities operated or for the sole use of high performance athletes
    • Facilities opened solely for specified purposes (e.g. child care)
    • Community centres and multi-purpose facilities

Community services

Businesses that deliver or support the delivery of community services including:

  • Sewage treatment and disposal
  • Collecting, transporting, storing, processing, disposing or recycling of any type of waste
  • Potable drinking water
  • Critical infrastructure repair and maintenance including roads, dams, bridges etc.
  • 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 but not limited to policing and law enforcement, fire and emergency services, paramedics, coroner and pathology services, corrections and court services, licences and permits
  • Allotment gardens or community gardens

Outdoor recreation amenities

  • No person is permitted to use an indoor or outdoor recreational amenity that is required to be closed
  • Outdoor recreational amenities permitted to open, subject to conditions, include (weather permitting):
    • 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)
    • 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

Media industries

  • Film and television production, including all supporting activities such as hair, makeup and wardrobe, are permitted to open if they meet the following conditions:
    • No studio audiences may be permitted to be on the film or television set
    • The 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
    • Persons who provide hair or makeup services must wear appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Film and television post-production, visual effects and animation studios are permitted
  • Book and periodical production, publishing and distribution businesses are permitted
  • Interactive digital media businesses, including computer system software or application developers and publishers, and video game developers and publishers are permitted

Entertainment

Concert venues, theatres and cinemas
  • Closed, including drive-in or drive-through events

Libraries

  • Libraries open for contactless curbside, delivery, and pick-up and permitted services (e.g. childcare services)

Museums and cultural amenities

  • Closed

Horse racing

  • Training only, no races, no members of the public (i.e., spectators)

Night clubs and strip clubs

  • Only permitted to open if they operate as a food or drink establishment, subject to conditions that apply to restaurants and bars, etc.

Zoos and aquariums

  • Closed, operating only for the care of the animals

Amusement parks, water parks

  • Closed

Bathhouses and sex clubs

  • Closed

Tour and guide services

  • Closed

Motorsports

  • Closed

Personal care services

  • Closed

Casinos, Bingo Halls and Gaming Establishments

  • Closed

@nowtoronto

Comments (2)

  • harold kingsley January 5, 2021 11:48 AM

    definitely mike harris should not receive the order of canada. there are good reasons for that.

  • R & D January 13, 2021 08:15 PM

    My husband and I work at hospitals and are required to go in every day, but our dog walker is not allowed to come to our house to let our dogs out!
    We have few options – perhaps a Dr’s note… so stressed about this I can’t sleep
    The dogs are our family.

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