Reopening Ontario in stages

Learn about what can reopen in each stage and where, according to the government’s regional approach.

Reopening in three stages

Ontario reopened businesses and public spaces in three stages, guided by the Framework for Reopening Our Province. Decisions about what to include in each stage were based on which businesses and spaces were best positioned to follow public health and workplace safety measures, beginning with those that are lower-risk.

A regional approach to reopening

Businesses, services and public spaces are reopening on a regional basis as progress is made in the fight against COVID-19. 

This approach recognizes that every region in Ontario is experiencing the COVID-19 outbreak differently. Regions are based on public health unit boundaries, with limited exceptions in unique cases.

In consultation with public health officials, the province directed regions to progress through each stage when it was safe to do so. We are maintaining a regional approach by implementing targeted measures in areas where there is a higher than average rate of transmission. Our decisions are based on trends in key public health indicators, including virus spread and containment, along with health system, public health sector and incidence-tracking capacity.

Dates, approaches and additional public health measures may vary based on each community's local needs and the ability of businesses or services to meet workplace safety guidelines and public health advice.

Some municipalities and local medical officers of health have exercised their right to add more restrictions or requirements. Check your local public health unit or local municipality's website for details.

When regions entered each stage

Additional measures are in place for Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York Region. Learn more.

Find out when your region started each stage.

Region Stage 2 start Stage 3 start
Algoma Public Health June 12 July 17
Brant County Health Unit June 12 July 17
Chatham-Kent Public Health June 12 July 17
Durham Region Health Department June 19 July 24
Eastern Ontario Health Unit June 12 July 17
Grey Bruce Health Unit June 12 July 17
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit June 19 July 24
Halton Region Health Department June 19 July 24
Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit June 12 July 17
Hamilton Public Health Services June 19 July 24
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health June 12 July 17
Huron Perth Public Health June 12 July 17
Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health June 12 July 17
Lambton Health Unit June 19 July 24
Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit June 12 July 17
Middlesex-London Health Unit June 12 July 17
Niagara Region Public Health Department June 19 July 24
North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit June 12 July 17
Northwestern Health Unit June 12 July 17
Ottawa Public Health June 12 July 17
Peel Public Health June 24 July 31
Peterborough Public Health June 12 July 17
Porcupine Health Unit June 12 July 17
Public Health Sudbury & Districts June 12 July 17
Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services June 12 July 17
Renfrew County and District Health Unit June 12 July 17
Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit June 12 July 17
Southwestern Public Health June 12 July 17
Thunder Bay District Health Unit June 12 July 17
Timiskaming Health Unit June 12 July 17
Toronto Public Health June 24 July 31
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health June 12 July 17
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
(excluding Municipality of Leamington and Town of Kingsville)
June 25 August 12
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
(Municipality of Leamington and Town of Kingsville only)
July 7 August 12
York Region Public Health Services June 19 July 24

Staying safe in every stage

Ontario's fight against COVID-19 is far from over. Everyone must do their part to keep each other, our families and our communities safe. Ontario's successful recovery depends on the collective efforts of individuals, families and businesses to continue to follow public health advice, including:

  • Stay away from others and do not go out if you are feeling ill, even if you have mild symptoms or are unsure if it’s COVID-19
  • Stay home, except for essential purposes, going to work, school, the doctor or to get groceries
  • Limit close contact to the people you live with 
  • Keep two metres apart from people outside your immediate household
  • Wear a face covering in indoor public spaces and any time physical distancing is a challenge
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water
  • Practice good hygiene (avoid touching your face, cover a cough or sneeze)
  • Use an alcohol-based rub if soap and water are not available
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces often
  • Download the COVID Alert mobile app
  • Get tested if a public health unit or the COVID Alert app notifies you that you have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • Minimize travel and self-isolate for 14 days after all international travel
  • Work from home as much as possible

Staying safe: businesses and employers

Workplaces must put the necessary measures in place to protect the health of their workers and the public, including screening, safe physical distancing and frequent and thorough hand-washing. Document or track attendance as much as possible to support contact tracing efforts while respecting privacy. Work from home arrangements should continue where possible.

Under Ontario law, employers have the duty to keep workers and workplaces safe and free of hazards. Learn about COVID-19 workplace safety.

Employers are strongly urged to develop a COVID-19 workplace safety plan to help protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19 in Ontario. Find resources for businesses, including a guide to developing a safety plan and sector-specific guidance and posters.

Current public health measures and restrictions

Social circles

Due to the recent increase in cases and to ensure continued health and safety, you should limit close contact to people living in your household and maintain 2 metres physical distance from everyone else. If you live alone, you can consider having close contact with one other household.

Gathering limits

Social gatherings and events

As of September 19, 2020, the gathering limits for events and gatherings are:

  • indoor: 10 people 
  • outdoor: 25 people

Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be combined.

This applies to social gatherings in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas. This includes:

  • functions
  • parties
  • dinners
  • gatherings
  • barbecues
  • wedding receptions

Exceeding these limits could result in fines starting at:

  • $10,000 for the organizer
  • $750 for each guest

Staffed businesses and facilities

Except in regions where additional restrictions are in place (Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York Region), the gathering limits do not apply to events or gatherings in staffed businesses and facilities, because they must already follow specific public health and safety guidelines to minimize risk and limit the spread of COVID-19. They include:

  • bars
  • restaurants
  • cinemas
  • convention centres or banquet halls
  • gyms
  • recreational sporting or performing art events
  • religious services, rites or ceremonies

Restrictions for restaurants, bars, nightclubs and strip clubs

As of Saturday, September 26, 2020:

  • restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments (including nightclubs) must:
    • stop selling alcohol at 11 p.m.
    • prohibit the consumption of alcohol between 12:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. by anyone, including employees
    • close by 12:00 a.m.
    • remain closed until 5:00 a.m., except for takeout or delivery
  • all strip clubs must remain closed
  • businesses and organizations must comply with any advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening for COVID-19

Additional public health measures for Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York Region

Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York Region public health unit regions are in a modified Stage 2. We will reconsider whether these measures are still required in 28 days.

This means:

Closing high-contact locations

As of October 10, the following locations and activities must close:

  • indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, including nightclubs and mall food courts
  • indoor gyms and fitness centres, including yoga studios
  • casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
  • cinemas
  • performing arts centres and venues
  • spectator areas in racing venues
  • interactive exhibits or exhibits with high risk of personal contact in museums, galleries, zoos, science centres or landmarks
  • personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service (for example, for facials or make-up)
  • team sports, except for training sessions (no games or scrimmage)

As of October 13, the following locations and activities must close:

  • conference and convention centres, except where there are courts

Reducing capacity limits

As of October 10, capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained, include:

  • social gatherings and organized public events (staffed and unstaffed): 10 people indoors, 25 people outdoors — this may not be combined for an indoor-outdoor event
  • tour and guide services: 10 people indoors, 25 people outdoors
  • open houses: 10 people indoors
  • in-person teaching and instruction (for example, cooking class, music lessons): 10 people indoors, 25 people outdoors — this does not include schools, child care centres, universities or colleges

As of October 13, capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained, include:

  • meeting and event spaces: 10 people indoors, 25 people outdoors
  • wedding receptions: 10 people indoors, 25 people outdoors

What was allowed to open in Stage 3

We have further restricted some of the public health measures below to keep people safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. Some of the measures below do not currently apply. Be sure to follow the latest public health measures and restrictions.

Nearly all businesses and public spaces

Nearly all businesses and public spaces can remain open in regions in Stage 3, with public health and workplace safety restrictions in place, while some high-risk venues and activities will remain closed until they can safely resume operations.

As of September 8, 2020, Ontario is pausing further reopening of businesses, facilities and organizations. During this pause, we are continuing to work with businesses and sectors that are either not able to reopen in Stage 3, or who are experiencing significant challenges opening with restrictions in Stage 3, with businesses and sectors that could not reopen or experienced significant challenges with the restrictions in Stage 3, so they will be ready to reopen when it is safe to do so.

Work with government on a reopening plan

Places and activities not yet safe to open

The following high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Amusement parks and water parks
  • Buffet-style food services
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment who follow specific requirements
  • Overnight stays at camps for children
  • Private karaoke rooms
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments
  • Strip clubs (effective as of September 26, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.)

All other businesses and public spaces can open, subject to ensuring the appropriate health and safety measures are in place, as well as gathering limits on gathering sizes, where applicable. More information on restrictions and gathering limits in Stage 3 is available below.

Gathering limits

The following gathering limits apply in Stage 3:

  • Indoors: a maximum of 50 people, subject to physical distancing of at least two metres with people from outside who are not in your household
  • Outdoors: a maximum of 100 people, subject to physical distancing of at least two metres with people who are not in your households

When gathering limits apply

Based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts, gathering limits apply to higher risk settings and activities where people congregate, including:

  • All organized or spontaneous indoor and outdoor events and social gatherings (e.g., parties, fundraisers, fairs, wedding receptions, funeral receptions)
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Concerts and live shows, including performing arts
  • Convention centres and other meeting or event spaces
  • Facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g., gyms, fitness studios)
  • Festivals
  • Recreational attractions, courses and instruction (e.g., fitness classes, music lessons, tutoring)
  • Movie theatres
  • Real estate open houses
  • Sporting and racing events
  • Tour and guide services (including boat tours)

Indoor gathering limits apply to events that are fully or partially indoors. Indoor events and gatherings cannot be combined with an outdoor event or gathering to increase the applicable gathering size.

People at their place of work, including performers and crews, do not count towards gathering limits.

People gathering indoors for religious services, rites or ceremonies, and wedding ceremonies or funeral services, can continue to fill up to 30 per cent of the capacity of the particular room, as introduced in Stage 2.

Stage 3 additional restrictions

Read the list of additional Stage 3 restrictions

What was allowed to open in Stage 2

Read the Stage 2 framework

We have further restricted some of the public health measures below to keep people safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. Some of the measures below do not currently apply. Be sure to follow the latest public health measures and restrictions.

Places that can open in Stage 2

Personal care services

Establishments providing personal care services can open with the proper health and safety protocols in place.

  • Examples include:
    • Hair services (including barber shops, hair salons, hairdressers/stylists, colour consulting services, scalp treatment services, hair weaving services, and hair replacement services)
    • Beauty salons, shops and parlours (including beauticians, estheticians, cosmetology shops or salons, manicure and pedicure salons)
    • Hair removal services
    • Diet centres (non-medical), diet workshops, weight control clinics, and weight-reduction centres (non-medical)
    • Piercing services
    • Day spas
    • Tanning salons
    • Tattoo studios
  • Patrons must wear face coverings at all times.
  • Workers must wear face coverings and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves.
  • Personal care services must take measures to enable physical distancing between patrons, such as limiting the number of people who may be in the business at any one time.
  • Businesses should also consider operating by appointment and/or recording each patron's name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.
  • Restrictions include:
    • Prohibiting services that tend to a customer's face, such as facials, facial hair grooming, eyebrow grooming, ear piercing and makeup, as well as oxygen bars.
    • Steam rooms, saunas and bath houses must remain closed.
    • Baths, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods are closed except for therapeutic purposes prescribed by or administered by a regulated health professional. Change rooms and showers for water amenities will be available to the public if operators have the ability to adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities.

For clarity, a business can open to offer other permitted services even if a restricted activity is its primary service (e.g., a facial salon can open to provide other services).

Personal services

Businesses primarily engaged in providing other personal services can open with the proper health and safety protocols in place. All services must be provided with physical distancing of at least two metres.

  • Examples include:
    • House sitting
    • Party, wedding planning and consulting services
    • Personal organizer services
    • Personal physical fitness trainer and sports trainers (outside of gyms only)
    • Personal shopping services
    • Porter services
    • Shoe services (e.g., shining, repair)
    • Check room services (e.g., coat check, suitcase storage)
    • Wedding chapels
  • Personal services should use measures to enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of people who may be in the business at any one time.
  • Businesses should also consider operating by appointment and/or record each patron's name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.

Restaurants and bars

Restaurants, bars, food trucks and other food and drink establishments (e.g., wineries, breweries and distilleries) can open for dining in outdoor areas only, such as patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent premises.

  • Establishments must take appropriate measures to keep patrons and workers safe:
    • Patrons must be seated when eating or drinking in the establishment
    • The outdoor dining area must be configured to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres between patrons from different tables unless separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
    • No buffet-style service may be provided
  • Access to indoor facilities is limited to patio/outdoor dining area access, food pickup, payment, washrooms or other health and safety purposes.
  • Liquor sales licensees who wish to temporarily extend the physical size of their existing licensed patio, or temporarily add a new licensed patio within the approved period are authorized to do so, if all the following criteria are met:
    • The physical extension of the premises is adjacent to the premises to which the licence to sell liquor applies.
    • The municipality in which the premises is situated does not object to an extension.
    • The licensee is able to demonstrate sufficient control over the physical extension of the premises.
    • There is no condition on the liquor sales licence prohibiting a patio.

Shopping malls and centres

In addition to providing online, curbside pickup and delivery services, all shopping centres, malls and markets may open. Stores in these facilities must follow the same guidance as those set out for other retail services.

  • Food services and restaurants with mall-only entrances may open for outdoor dining spaces, delivery and takeout. Dine-in at indoor food courts is prohibited.
  • Entertainment amenities not permitted in Stages 1 or 2, such as movie theatres and waterparks, remain closed.
  • Malls may need to institute the policies that were put in place by retail outlets that remained open as essential businesses or were permitted to reopen during Stage 1, including engineering and administrative controls, such as:
    • Alternative operating hours to address increased cleaning demands.
    • Enhanced security and limiting entrances.
    • Creation and enforcement of walking traffic patterns.
    • Operating by appointment or reservation.
    • Limiting the number of people who may be in one business at any one time.
    • Restricting fitting room access and implementing cleaning process between fitting room customers.
    • General building management, including signage and hand sanitizer at the entrance of building, and removing gathering settings (e.g., benches).
  • Industry associations recommend that efforts to screen people for COVID-19 symptoms at shopping malls is best performed at the entry point of the shopping centre rather than at individual shops.

Photography

All photography studios and services, including portrait, aerial, special event, commercial and industrial photography can reopen.

  • Physical distancing must be maintained between all individuals on set whenever possible and must be taken into consideration when organizing the layout of the set.

Film and TV

All film and television production activities will be allowed to resume.

  • Physical distancing must be maintained between all individuals on set whenever possible and must be taken into consideration when organizing the layout of the set.

Tour and guide services

Indoor and outdoor tour and guide services will be allowed to resume.

  • This includes:
    • Resource-based tours (e.g., hunting, fishing and similar excursions)
    • Tastings and tours for operators of on-site retail stores at manufacturing sites (e.g., wineries, breweries and distilleries)
    • Trail riding, walking and bike tours
    • Motor vehicle and boat tours (e.g., for sightseeing)
  • Businesses should consider operating by appointment and must record each patron's name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.
  • Patrons must adhere to physical distancing measures and limits to public gatherings.
  • Equipment may be rented as needed as part of the tours. Equipment must be properly cleaned and disinfected in between rentals.
  • Access to production areas for tours of food and beverage manufacturing sites is permitted, as long as operators can follow workplace guidance and public health advice to ensure quality and cleanliness of products. Eating or drinking can occur in licensed outdoor spaces but is not permitted indoors.

Water recreational facilities

All indoor and outdoor swimming pools and outdoor splash pads and wading pools may open to the public with no access to high-contact aquatic features such as slides and climbing structures.

  • This includes public pools as well as pools situated in hotels, motels, condo parks, resorts and other private facilities.
  • Waterparks, wave pools and water slides will not be permitted to reopen in Stage 2.
  • Any locker rooms, change rooms, showers and washrooms must be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary environment.
  • Persons in the place of business shall maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from each other at all times by:
    • Reducing resting areas and pool capacity.
    • Limiting and distancing pool-side seating.
    • Timed entry (e.g., appointment only).
  • Equipment rented or loaned must be disinfected or quarantined appropriately between uses.
  • Aquatic activities such as fitness classes and swim lessons must be in line with physical distancing measures. For example, only other household members can assist swimmers with physical contact.

Outdoor recreational facilities

Outdoor-only recreational facilities that operate low-contact attractions and activities will be allowed to reopen.

  • This includes activities such as paintball, mini-golf, archery ranges, go-cart tracks and other adventure activities.
  • Locker rooms, change rooms, showers and clubhouses will remain closed, except to the extent they provide access to a washroom or a portion of the facility that is used to provide first aid.
  • Equipment rented, loaned or utilized for outdoor adventure elements (e.g., ladders, ziplines, hand cables) must be disinfected or quarantined appropriately between uses. Activities where equipment cannot be sanitized are not permitted.
  • Recreational activities or areas that do not allow for two-metre physical distancing between patrons are not permitted.
  • Indoor recreational activities are not permitted except for indoor driving ranges and rod and gun clubs.
  • Amusement parks and waterparks (including those attached to hotels) will remain closed.
  • Playgrounds, play structures and outdoor fitness equipment will remain closed.

Beaches, parks and camping

In Stage 1, Ontario Parks opened limited backcountry camping including paddle and portage routes, access points and hiking trails. In Stage 2, Ontario Parks campgrounds and private campgrounds can also open for recreational vehicle, car camping and all other types of camping.

  • Campers must adhere to social gathering size restrictions and maintain two-metre physical distancing with people outside their household or social circle and when outside of their campsites.
  • Beach access at Ontario Parks will be permitted as part of Ontario Parks' gradual reopening, although measures including limited capacity will be taken at some parks to enable physical distancing.

Outdoor recreational team sports

Outdoor team sports may resume, if physically distanced, for training only and with no scrimmages or games.

  • This includes limited access to facilities (e.g., no locker rooms, no change rooms and no showers).
  • Access to clubhouse and other amenities will be limited to washrooms, emergency aid and equipment management.
  • On June 27th, Ontario removed certain restrictions for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities facilities, enabling these facilities to be used by more businesses and organizations to train amateur or professional athletes, or to run certain non-contact amateur or professional athletic competitions.

Drive-in and drive-thru venues

All existing and new drive-in and drive-thru venues can open for a variety of purposes, such as theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations.

  • Food services are restricted to delivery to vehicles and drive-thru only.
  • Operators must have in place procedures for staff to ensure people remain in their cars except for using the washroom or in an emergency.
  • In addition to other workplace and public health measures, drive-ins and drive-thru venues should:
    • Limit the number of vehicles and how they are parked to ensure physical distancing.
    • Ensure that any washrooms open for use are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary environment.

Weddings, funerals and similar gatherings

Venues not otherwise restricted can open to conduct wedding ceremonies, funerals and similar gatherings within existing public health restrictions.

  • Ceremonies and services for weddings, funerals and other similar ceremonies are subject to gathering limits of 30% of capacity for the venue if indoors, or up to 50 people if it occurs outdoors.
  • Social gatherings related to the ceremony or service (e.g. a wedding reception) are subject to limit of gatherings of up to 10 people.
  • Dine-in and bar services must be in-line with the related guidelines and restrictions.
  • Indoor and outdoor venues may open for weddings, funerals and similar gatherings, with limited access to facilities.
  • Guests that are not part of the same household should follow physical distancing guidelines.

Libraries

All libraries can reopen with limited on-site services, such as computer access and contactless book pickup and drop-off.

  • Patrons are not permitted to handle books or materials on shelves.
  • Libraries should operate in adherence with public health guidelines on physical distancing, capacity and hygiene procedures (e.g., disinfecting returns and high-touch areas like computers).

Community centres

Community centres can reopen to the public with limited or modified on-site programs and services that follow workplace guidance and public health advice.

  • Recreational activities are restricted at indoor facilities, but these spaces can be used for other programs and services.
  • Examples of physically distanced programs and services include in-person counselling, group counselling, computer access, education and tutoring.
  • Food services are restricted to takeout, delivery and outdoor dining spaces.
  • Indoor pools may open (see water recreational facilities).
  • Access to locker rooms, change rooms, showers and communal kitchen areas is not allowed.

Attractions and heritage institutions

Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos outdoor heritage institutions (e.g., landmarks, outdoor historic sites, botanical gardens), and other establishments primarily engaged in preserving and exhibiting objects, sites and natural wonders of historical, cultural and educational value are permitted to reopen with restrictions.

  • Interactive and high-contact exhibits within establishments, amusement parks, water parks and conference centres will remain closed in Stage 2.
  • Lockers will remain closed.
  • The opening of commercial areas (e.g., restaurant, cafe, bookshop, giftshop) are subject to the related guidelines and restrictions.
  • Persons in the place of business shall maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from each other at all times by:
    • Timed entry
    • A limited number of visitors allowed in a place at one time
    • Managed visitor flow (e.g., one-way flow)
  • Establishments should consider operating by appointment and/or record each patron's name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.

Small outdoor events

Non-essential in-person gatherings of any size continue to be strongly discouraged. Small outdoor events, such as cultural celebrations, animal shows and fundraisers will be permitted in line with gathering-size restrictions, subject to local public health requirements.

  • Event organizers should have in place measures to enable physical distancing for people when in the event space and while waiting to enter, such as one-way traffic, marked lineup areas, and timed entry and length of stay.
  • Large outdoor events, such as concerts, large festivals, parades and amusement fairs, are not permitted.

Places of worship

Effective Friday, June 12 all places of worship in Ontario were permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.

Child care centres

Licensed child care centres are permitted to reopen across Ontario as part of Stage 2 of reopening, while operating under enhanced health and safety requirements.
Learn how Ontario is keeping children, parents and staff safe as child care centres reopen.

Summer day camps

Summer day camp programs across the province can reopen this summer with health and safety protocols in place.

What was allowed to open in Stage 1

Read the Stage 1 framework.

We have further restricted some of the public health measures below to keep people safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. Some of the measures below do not currently apply. Be sure to follow the latest public health measures and restrictions.

Places that can open in Stage 1

Construction

  • All construction activities or projects and related services that support construction activities or projects, including demolition services resume and essential workplace limits lifted
  • Includes land surveyors

Retail

  • In addition to retail operating online, or curbside pickup and delivery, all businesses that sell or rent consumer products that open onto a street or exterior sidewalk can operate under the following restrictions and guidelines:
    • No indoor malls.
    • Persons in the place of business shall maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from each other at all times by:
      • Using curb side pick-up or delivery,
      • Providing in-store access by appointment,
      • Limiting customers so that they are able to stay two metres apart.
    • Only fitting rooms with doors would be used, not curtains, to facilitate disinfecting. Retailers would restrict use to every second fitting room at any one time to allow for cleaning and disinfecting after each use and ensure physical distancing.
    • For further guidance on this sector, please refer to resources to prevent COVID‑19 in the workplace.

Vehicle dealerships and retailers

  • Vehicle dealerships and retailers, including:
    • Motor vehicles, including cars, trucks and motorcycles
    • Recreational vehicles, including motor homes
    • Trailers and travel trailers
    • Boats and other watercraft
    • Other motorized vehicles, including power-assisted bicycles, golf carts, scooters, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles
  • Prior to Stage 1, motor vehicles dealerships were restricted to appointments only.

Media industries

  • Sound recording, production, publishing and distribution businesses.
  • Film and television post-production, visual effects and animation studios.
  • Book and periodical production, publishing and distribution.
  • Interactive digital media businesses, including, computer system software or application developers and publishers, and video game developers and publishers.
  • Media activities that can be completed while working remotely have been encouraged to continue during the Restart phase.
  • Filming or other on-site activities, especially those that require the gathering of workers, performers or others are not permitted to resume in Stage 1.

Health services

  • Non-emergency diagnostic imaging and surgeries in public hospitals, private hospitals and independent health facilities, clinics, and private practices to resume based on ability to meet specified pre-conditions including the framework: A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID‑19 Pandemic, which contains clear criteria that must be met before hospitals can resume scheduled surgeries.
  • Certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling and in-person services, in addition to ongoing virtual services, delivered by health professionals, all based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions.
  • In-person counselling to resume including psychotherapy and other mental health and support services, based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions. Some of these services continue to be available in-person for urgent needs. For example:
    • Addiction counselling
    • Crisis intervention
    • Family counselling
    • Offender rehabilitation
    • Palliative care counselling
    • Parenting services
    • Rape crisis centres
    • Refugee services
  • Non-emergency in-person services can only resume once "Directive #2 for Health Care Providers (Regulated Health Professionals or Persons who operate a Group Practice of Regulated Health Professionals)" is amended or revoked. Directive #2 was amended on May 26, 2020 – See Additional Openings below.

Community services

  • Libraries for pick-up or delivery
  • Religious services for drive-in only

Outdoor recreational amenities

  • Golf courses and outdoor golf driving ranges are open to the public. Any clubhouse or recreational amenity (pools, fitness centres etc.) must remain closed except for washrooms and first aid facilities. Restaurants on the premises may provide food by take out or delivery.
  • Marinas, and boat clubs (e.g.yacht clubs) are authorized to be open to the public. Any clubhouse, or recreational amenity must remain closed, except for washrooms and first aid facilities. Marinas/ boat clubs may operate generally including by providing grocery or convenience stores, provide fuel supplies, provide watercraft repair and servicing, and provide watercraft docking and launching services to the public. Restaurants on the premises may provide food by take out or delivery.
  • Private campgrounds are authorized to be open to prepare for the upcoming season. They may also allow people who have a full season lease on a trailer or RV with water/electric hook ups in the park to use their trailer. Common amenities and recreational facilities remain closed.
  • Pools will remain closed

Individual outdoor recreational sports

  • Facilities for outdoor sports and activities will open for individual activities with physical distance of at least two metres from any other person (i.e., not team or contact sports) with limited access to facilities (i.e., no locker rooms, no change rooms, no showers and no clubhouses ­‑ washrooms and emergency aid only):
    • Baseball diamonds
    • Soccer fields
    • Frisbee golf
    • Tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts
    • Basketball courts
    • BMX parks
    • Skate parks
    • Motorsport tracks
    • Cycling tracks and bike trails
    • Horse riding facilities
    • Shooting ranges, including those operated by rod and gun clubs
  • Indoor shooting ranges including those operated by rod and gun clubs, indoor golf driving ranges, and indoor horse-riding facilities with similar restrictions (i.e., no team or contact sport, physical distancing and limited facilities).
  • Equipment renting services will be available for the sports that are resuming.

Individual sports competitions without spectators

  • Facilities, other than pools, can be used if they are used to train amateur or professional athletes or to run amateur or professional athletic competitions if they are being used by one or more of the following organizations, leagues or clubs:
    • A national sport organization recognized by Sport Canada or a member club of such an organization.
    • A provincial sport or multi-sport organization recognized by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries or a member club of such an organization.
    • A professional sport league or a member club of such a league.
  • Team sports and sports that are likely to result in individuals coming within two metres of each other are not allowed.
  • Horse racing tracks are open with no access to the public (i.e., no spectators).

Professional services related to research and development

  • Professional services related to conducting research and experimental development in physical, engineering and life sciences including electronics, computers, chemistry, oceanography, geology, mathematics, physics, environmental, medicine, health, biology, botany, biotechnology, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, pharmacy, veterinary and other allied subjects. For example:
    • Agriculture, food research, horticulture or botany, entomological, forestry, livestock, veterinary research and development laboratories.
    • Bacteriological, biotechnology, chemical, nanobiotechnology, pharmacy, genetics, genomics, computational biology, research and development laboratories.
    • Computer and related hardware, electronic, telecommunication research and development services.
    • Geology, oceanographic, pollution research and development, and astronomical observatories.
    • Mathematics research and development.
    • Industrial research and development laboratories.
  • These examples are listed for clarity. Most if not all these services are already permitted under the "Research" section of the List of Essential Workplaces.

Emissions inspection facilities

  • All emissions inspection facilities for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles, including mobile inspection facilities.

Veterinary services

  • Veterinary services can resume all services by appointment.

Animal services

  • Pet grooming services
  • Pet sitting services
  • Pet walking services
  • Pet training services
  • Training and provision of service animals
  • Effective May 16, 2020, businesses that board animals (e.g., stables) may allow boarders to visit, care for, or ride their animal

Indoor and outdoor household services

  • Private households could now employ workers on or about the premises in activities primarily concerned with the operation of the household such as:
    • Domestic services: housekeepers, cooks, maids, butlers, personal affairs management, nanny services, babysitters, other domestic personnel, etc.
    • Cleaning and maintenance service: house cleaning, indoor/outdoor painting, window cleaning, pool cleaning, general repairs.

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 can resume, and are no longer limited to "strictly necessary" maintenance.

Additional openings

Following the start of Stage 1 opening, the government announced additional places and professions that can open provincewide, including:

  • All regulated health professionals. On May 26, 2020 Directive #2 for Health Care Providers (Regulated Health Professionals or Persons who operate a Group Practice of Regulated Health Professionals) was amended to support the gradual restart of all deferred and non-essential and elective services carried out by health care providers.
  • Batting cages were permitted to reopen under certain conditions, effective May 31
  • Drive-in movie theatres that were in existence before May 29, 2020 were permitted to reopen under certain conditions, effective May 31
  • Backcountry camping at Ontario Parks and on Crown lands, effective June 1
  • Short term rentals including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condominiums and bed and breakfasts are now allowed to resume operations, effective June 5, 2020

Read more about Stage 1

Updated: November 3, 2020