Find out about the latest public health measures, advice and restrictions in your area as we continue to respond to covid 19. Stay home, stay safe, save lives.
Ontario strengthens enforcement of province-wide Stay-at-Home order
Enhanced public health measures and enforcement comes into effect Saturday, April 17 at 12:01 a.m.
Declaration of emergency and provincewide Stay-at-Home order
As covid 19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, a declaration of emergency and provincewide Stay-at-Home order are in effect as of Thursday, April 8, at 12:01 a.m.
This will help:
- save lives
- prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed
- protect in-person learning and keep children in schools
- allow for more time to vaccinate Ontarians
- stop the spread of covid 19 in communities
This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts.
What this means
The covid 19 Response Framework (colour-coded zones) is paused.
We must all follow temporary restrictions and public health and workplace safety measures.
The Stay-at-Home order is in place until May 5, 2021, as the province continues to deal with the impacts of covid 19.
Stay at home
As of April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., a Stay-at-Home order is in effect for all of Ontario.
This means you must stay at home. You should only go out for necessities, such as:
- the grocery store or pharmacy
- health care services (including going to medical appointments or getting vaccinated)
- outdoor exercise or walking pets in your community
- work that cannot be done remotely
- child care or school
Businesses must ensure that all employees work from home if they can.
You are not allowed to gather indoors or outdoors with anyone you do not live with, except one other person from outside of the household that lives alone.
Limit close contact to only members of your household (the people you live with). 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 such as a wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony.
If you do not follow these rules for gatherings:
- organizers may be fined a minimum of $10,000
- each attendee may receive a $750 ticket
- enforcement personnel may break up the gathering or temporarily close the premises
If a police officer or other provincial offences officer has reason to suspect that you are participating in an organized public event or social gathering, they may require you to provide information to ensure you are complying with restrictions. This additional enforcement tool will only be in effect during the Stay-at-Home order.
All events and social gatherings:
- Indoors and outdoors: not allowed, except with:
- members of your household
- one other person from outside of the household that lives alone
Religious, wedding and funeral services:
- Indoors or outdoors: 10 people
- Receptions are not permitted indoors or outdoors, except with members of the same household (the people you live with) or with one other person from outside of the household that lives alone
- Drive-in services permitted
Do not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary.
As of April 19, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., travel from Manitoba or Quebec into Ontario will be restricted. Exemptions will only be allowed for specified reasons, including:
- going to work
- receiving medical care or social services
- business transport of goods
- exercising Indigenous or treaty rights
- your primary residence is in Ontario
- you are moving to a new primary residence in Ontario
- humanitarian or compassionate reasons, such as providing care or services to a person who requires assistance due to their state of health
Stop the spread
You should always:
- stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild
- stay two metres apart from people you don’t live with
- wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces or any time physical distancing is not possible
- wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- sneeze and cough into your sleeve
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- get tested if you think you have symptoms or have been exposed to covid 19
You can also download the COVID Alert mobile app to protect yourself and your community.
Enforcement and fines
You may be asked to identify yourself to a provincial offences officer if they believe you have not complied with certain orders under the:
- Health Protection and Promotion Act
- Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act
- Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to covid 19) Act
If the officer finds you are not following the orders, you may be fined. The set fines are:
- $750 for individuals who are not following an order
- $1,000 for corporations that are not following an order
- $1,000 for anyone who prevents an enforcement officer from exercising their powers or performing their duties to enforce the orders
Maximum fines are:
- $100,000 for an individual
- $500,000 for a director or officer of a corporation
- $10 million for a corporation
Failure to follow the rules could also result in prosecution or even a year in jail.
What is open and closed
Below are some of the key public health and safety measures at this time.
For more information, read the:
All publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools in the province are to move to teacher-led remote learning when students return from the April break on April 19, 2021. Private schools operating in-person this week are to transition to remote learning by April 15, 2021.
Child care for non-school aged children will remain open, before and after school programs will be closed and free emergency child care for the school-aged children of eligible health care and frontline workers will be provided. To protect the most vulnerable, boards will make provisions for continued in-person support for students with special education needs who require additional support that cannot be accommodated through remote learning.
With the exceptions below, most non-essential retailers may open:
- for curbside pickup and delivery only, by appointment
- between 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for sales, with delivery allowed between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies
The following stores can open for in-person shopping at a maximum capacity of 25%:
- grocery stores
- convenience stores
- farmers markets
- other businesses that primarily sell food to the public
Discount and big box stores
Discount and big box stores can only open for in-person shopping at a maximum capacity of 25% for:
- grocery items
- pet care supplies
- household cleaning supplies
- pharmaceutical items
- health care items
- personal care items
- household safety supplies
- school supplies
Shopping malls are only open:
- for access to grocery stores, pharmacies, health care services (such as a dentist’s office) and government and court services
- for picking up purchases from a designated pickup area, by appointment only
- between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for access to stores or services
- between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. for curbside pickup
Malls may have:
- only one single designated location for pick-up inside
- any number of designated pick-up locations outside
Garden centres, plant nurseries and greenhouses
Outdoor garden centres, plant nurseries and indoor greenhouses may open for in-person shopping:
- at a maximum capacity of 25%
- between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. only
- curbside pickup is allowed between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
- for curbside pickup only, by appointment, between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
- to provide delivery between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m
Stores that sell liquor, beer, wine and spirits
Stores that sell liquor, including beer, wine and spirits may open for in-person shopping:
- at a maximum capacity of 25%
- between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. with delivery allowed between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
In-store shopping is allowed by appointment only for:
- safety supply stores
- businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, aids or supplies, mobility devices, aids or supplies or medical devices, aids or supplies
- rental and leasing services including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rentals
- optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public
- sales of motor vehicles, boats and other watercrafts
- repair, essential maintenance and rental services for vehicles and equipment
- telecommunications providers or service, for cellphone sales, repairs or technical support only
These retailers may open for in-store shopping:
- at a maximum capacity of 25%
- between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for sales, with delivery allowed between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments
- All indoor and outdoor dining
Night clubs and strip clubs only permitted to open if they operate as a food or drink establishment, for takeout, drive-through and delivery only.
Sports and recreation
Open, as long as two metres physical distancing can be maintained:
- parks and recreational areas, including benches
- playgrounds, play structures, and play equipment
- off-leash dog parks
Closed (including but not limited to):
- outdoor sports facilities, such as golf courses, tennis courts, basketball courts and skate parks
- baseball diamonds, soccer fields and other multi-use fields
- picnic sites and picnic tables
Meeting and event spaces
Closed for meetings and events (limited exceptions, for example child care, mental health and addiction support services, or vaccine clinics)
Personal care services
Cinemas, performing arts facilities, casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
Construction can continue if it is:
- a critical infrastructure project, such as new hospitals, roads and bridges
- residential construction that has already started
- non-essential workplaces in the construction sector (for example, shopping malls, hotels and office towers)
Read the detailed list of essential construction, including which types of residential construction projects can proceed.
If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.