Long-term care and Ontario’s roadmap to reopen

The Ontario government is easing restrictions in long-term care homes, in line with the steps of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen.

Steps toward resuming regular activities in long-term care homes
Activity Step one Step two Step three (current)
Outdoor visits Five people: resident, two caregivers, two visitors 10 people No limit, with public health measures in place
Indoor visits One caregiver and one general visitor if resident is unable to go outdoors Two caregivers and two general visitors No limit, with public health measures in place
Personal care services Not permitted Permitted Permitted
Dining, social and recreational activities

Dining: permitted with restrictions, such as no buffet service

Indoor and outdoor activities permitted with restrictions

Dining: permitted with restrictions, such as no buffet service

Cohorting requirements can be relaxed for outdoor activities

Buffet service and family style dining can resume.

More activities permitted, including offsite excursions and singing and dancing.

All visits

For all visits to long-term care homes, the following conditions apply:

  • Children under the age of two do not count towards the visitor maximum.
  • General visitors are not permitted if a resident:
    • is symptomatic
    • is isolating under droplet and contact precautions
    • lives in an area of the home that is in an outbreak
  • All visitors and residents are required to follow all infection prevention and control measures as well as any other specific home policies during their visit.
  • Local public health units may provide further direction on the types and numbers of visitors to the homes to ensure the health and safety of all residents, staff and visitors.

People planning a visit to a long-term care home are advised to contact the home in advance to:

  • make sure the home is free of outbreaks
  • get information on the home's visitor policy and any other restrictions

About caregivers

Caregivers are essential visitors, designated by a resident or their substitute decision maker, who provide direct care to residents, such as helping with feeding, mobility, hygiene or cognitive stimulation.

Examples of caregivers include:

  • family members or friends
  • privately hired caregivers
  • paid companions
  • translators

Caregivers must follow all required infection prevention and control measures while in the home.

Caregivers who are not fully immunized and entering long-term care homes will be tested by one of the following options, as determined by the home:

  • an antigen test — under the Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen
    • 2-3 times per week under steps 1 and 2
    • 1-2 times per week under step 3
  • one laboratory-based test and one rapid test on separate days within a seven-day period

Additional resources

Updated: August 25, 2021
Published: October 03, 2020