Here’s the list of third wave shutdown restrictions in Ontario

Patios, outdoor fitness classes and day camps must close in Toronto, but schools will remain open

Update (April 7, 2021): In addition to the “emergency brake” measures listed below, the province has issued a new stay-at-home order with additional restrictions. Read the new rules here.

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With intensive care unit admissions soaring to all-time highs, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has pulled the “emergency brake” on the entire province.

The move will see the colour-coded framework suspended for at least 28 days, effective April 3 at 12:01 am.

“All 34 public health regions will move into shutdown for a period of four weeks,” Ford said during an April 1 briefing at Queen’s Park. “Right now we’re into a third wave of COVID-19. The variants of concern are spreading rapidly. This is a new pandemic.”

Most of the shutdown restrictions are similar to the ones in Ontario lockdown zones that have been in effect in Toronto and Peel since early March. However, outdoor dining and outdoor fitness classes, which were recently allowed in grey zones, will now be prohibited.

Schools and child-care will also remain open, but day camps must close. Outdoor gatherings are limited to five people (except if people are from the same household).

Retailers will remain open but with capacity limits. In-person shopping is restricted to 50 per cent in supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets and any stores that primarily sell food. All other retailers are limited to 25 per cent capacity, including big-box stores.

Public health officials are advising people to only leave their homes to get food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable people or exercising outdoors with members of their household.

Takeout, drive-through and delivery is still allowed. Read the full list of Ontario third-wave shutdown restrictions below:

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
  • school
  • groceries
  • pharmacy
  • 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

Religious, wedding and funeral services:

  • Indoors: 15% capacity of the room
  • Outside: the number of people that can keep two metres physical distance from each other
  • This does not apply to receptions, which have different capacity limits

Rules for all businesses

All open businesses must:

  • screen employees (you may use the COVID-19covid 19 screening tool)
  • post signs at all entrances informing people how to screen themselves for COVID-19covid 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

Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments

Services available:

  • Take-out
  • Drive-through
  • Delivery


  • All indoor and outdoor service

Sports and recreational fitness facilities


  • Sports and recreational fitness facilities (limited exceptions, for example, day camps and child care)
  • Ski hills
  • Golf courses and driving ranges
  • All locker rooms, change rooms, showers and clubhouses

Meeting and event spaces

Closed for meetings and events (limited exceptions, for example child care, mental health and addiction support services).


In-person shopping available

Capacity limits:

  • supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies: 50%
  • all other retail (includes discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, cannabis stores, hardware stores and garden centres): 25%

Curbside pick-up and delivery permitted, including for cannabis stores.

Fitting rooms cannot be right next to each other.

Guests must:

  • wear a mask or face covering (with some exceptions) and keep at least 2 metres apart inside when lining up and gathering outside
  • answer screening questions about COVID-19covid 19 symptoms and exposure before they come into malls

Personal care services


Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments




Performing arts facilities


Read the full list of shutdown rules here.


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