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Navigating Ontario's new stay-at-home order

By HUB SmartCoverage Team on April 24th, 2021

Trying to figure out what’s open or closed during Ontario’s extended stay-at-home order? We can help.

The new order, which went into effect on April 17, is in effect until at least May 20. It was an extension of an existing stay-at-home order but with further restrictions. The province says those who don’t abide by these orders could face fines and/or prosecution. Highlights include:

  • Prohibiting all outdoor social gatherings and organized public events, except with members of your household (or one other household if you live alone)
  • Close all non-essential workplaces in the construction sector
  • Reduce capacity limits to 25 per cent in all retail settings where in-store shopping is permitted, including supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies
  • Close all outdoor recreational amenities, such as golf courses, basketball courts, and soccer fields
  • Playgrounds can now remain open (changed following the initial announcement)
  • Capacity for weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites, or ceremonies will be capped at a maximum of 10 people indoors/outdoors. Drive-in service permitted.
  • Elementary/Secondary schools virtual learning only
  • Restricting interprovincial travel into Ontario from Manitoba and Quebec. Exemptions include work, medical care, transportation of goods, and exercising Indigenous treaty rights.

Only go out for the following necessities:

  • work, if you can’t do it remotely
  • school
  • groceries
  • pharmacy
  • helping vulnerable people
  • exercise and physical activity

Bars, restaurants, and other food and drink establishments

  • Indoor and outdoor dining prohibited
  • Take-out, drive-thru, and delivery service available

Essential retail

Capacity limits reduced to 25 per cent in all retail settings where in-store shopping permitted. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies.

Malls and non-essential stores

Non-essential retailers may operate for curbside pick-up and delivery between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Access to shopping malls is limited to specified purposes, including access for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment. One single designated location inside the shopping mall must be set up for pick-up.

Stores permitted to open

Ontario says the following stores can operate for in-person retail by appointment only, with a maximum 25 per cent capacity:

  • 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 rental
  • Optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public
  • Businesses that sell motor vehicles, boats, and other watercraft
  • Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services
  • Retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or service, which may only permit members of the public to enter the premises to purchase a cellphone or for repairs and technical support.
  • Big box stores like Costco and Walmart can open but restricted to selling essential items only – groceries, pet care and household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, health, and personal care items

Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Garden Centres

Outdoor garden centres, plant nurseries, and indoor greenhouses can open. Capacity is limited to 25 per cent and hours of operation are restricted. There will be a restriction on hours of operation

LCBO and Beer Store

The LCBO and Beer Store can remain open, at a maximum capacity of 25 per cent. Operating hours between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Businesses not permitted to open

  • Personal care services, including hair salons and nail salons
  • Gyms and fitness centres, as well as outdoor classes
  • Amusement parks, water parks
  • Casinos, bingo halls, and gaming establishments
  • Concert venues, theatres, and cinemas (includes drive-in or drive-through events)
  • Day camps
  • Horse racing (open for training only)
  • Motorsports
  • Museums and cultural amenities
  • Tour and guide services
  • Zoos and aquariums (permitted to operate for the care of animals).

Outdoor amenities

All outdoor recreational amenities such as golf courses, basketball courts and soccer fields, will be closed. The following outdoor recreational amenities, sports facilities and multi-use fields are also closed, including:

  1. baseball diamonds,
  2. soccer fields,
  3. frisbee golf locations,
  4. tennis, platform tennis, table tennis, and pickleball courts,
  5. basketball courts,
  6. BMX parks, and
  7. skate parks
  • All outdoor picnic sites/tables in park and recreational areas.
  • Off-leash dog areas and park benches may be used with physical distancing
  • Marinas cannot be used for recreational boating purposes except repairing or servicing boats, placing them in the water to secure to a dock. Public boat launches are closed.
  • Ontario Parks campgrounds and cottages closed. Parks open for outdoor safe day use for physical activities.

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