COVID-19 public health measures and advice

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.

Stay-at-home order extended

The declaration of emergency and province-wide Stay-at-Home order have been extended until June 2, 2021.

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 June 2, 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.

Read the full list of reasons you can go out in the regulation.


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.

Gathering limits

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
  • attending, transporting or picking up a student from a school or post-secondary institution in Ontario
  • transporting a child who is registered to receive child care in Ontario

Read the full list of reasons you may travel into Ontario from Manitoba or Quebec.

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:

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:


As of April 19, 2021, all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools are teaching classes remotely.

In-person learning is available for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning. Contact your school board for more information.

Child care and after school programs

Licensed child care centres and home-based child care services for non school-aged children are open with enhanced health and safety measures.

Before and after school programs are closed.

Emergency child care

Emergency child care for school-aged children is available free of charge for eligible health care, public safety and other frontline workers.

Read the list of eligible health care, public safety and other frontline workers. Contact your municipality or local service system manager to see if you are eligible for emergency child care.


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%:

  • supermarkets
  • grocery stores
  • convenience stores
  • pharmacies
  • 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

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.

Cannabis stores


  • 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.

Other retail

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

Services available:

  • Take-out
  • Drive-through
  • Delivery


  • 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


  • non-essential workplaces in the construction sector (for example, shopping malls, hotels and office towers)

Read the detailed list of essential construction projects that can proceed.

Contact us

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.