What You Can and Can’t Do in Ontario’s Provincewide Lockdown

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The Ontario government enforced a provincewide lockdown Thursday, effectively thrusting the region into a one-month shutdown beginning on Saturday.

The lockdown is similar to the restrictions in the strictest grey shutdown tier of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework, with some modifications to further reduce gatherings and close in-person dining.

Whereas stay-at-home order has not been issued, the government continues to encourage residents to avoid travel outside of their homes except for essential purposes.

Below are the new regulations under the lockdown:

Gatherings

Indoor gatherings are not permitted. The people of Ontario should only get together indoors with those they live with.

Locals may get together with a maximum of 5 people outdoors, as long as they can maintain social distance from one another.

Religious services, weddings and funerals will be restricted to 15% capacity per room indoors. If the event and service is conducted outdoors, it is restricted to an unlimited number of people as long as 2m distance can be maintained.

All receptions connected to these events must obey the social gathering restrictions mentioned above.

Stores

Essential stores like grocery stores, pharmacies, and supermarkets can open with a 50% capacity limit.

All other stores such as big-box stores that don’t deal with food mainly as well as liquor and cannabis shops will remain open with a 25% capacity limit.

Shopping malls are restricted to a 25% capacity per shop as long as social distance can be maintained. Dining areas will remain closed and music must be low enough for normal conversation to continue. Indoor shopping malls must actively screen all customers before they enter.

Bars and restaurants

No in-person dining is allowed neither inside nor outdoors. Bars and restaurants may only offer takeaways, delivery, and drive-thru service.

Schools

Ontario has said that elementary schools, high schools, and daycare centres will remain open throughout the lockdown. However, teachers and students will take their planned spring break in April. Day camps shall remain closed.

Virtual instruction will be utilized at post-secondary levels, with exceptions where in-person instruction is required. In case the in-person is require, each room will only accommodate 10 persons.

Fitness

Gyms and outdoor classes will remain closed to the public under lockdown. However, outdoor recreational facilities such as soccer fields, baseball diamonds, golf courses, and tennis courts are allowed to open as long as the physical distance is maintained, and no team sports go on.

Recreational amenities will only open for the training of high-performance athletes. Change rooms, showers, and locker rooms shall remain closed.

Community centers will be open for mental health, child-care, addiction services and social services. It will as well be open for physical therapy for those with disabilities.

Healthcare

All regulated health practitioners are allowed to offer services to the public, including providers that offer home care and those that work in labs, manufacturing or supply of medical goods.

Services

Personal care services are not allowed.

Motor vehicle sales are permitted; however, members of the public cannot be in any places where vehicles are not showcased for sale. Vehicle testing is limited to less than 10 minutes with a maximum of two persons in the car, and windows open.

In-person driving instruction is only allowed for drivers of commercial motor vehicles.
Machinery and equipment rental is allowed.

Gas stations and other fuel retailers, including self-care care or automated car washes will remain open.
Laundromats and drycleaners will remain open.

Domestic services like housekeeping, cleaning and cooking are permitted.

Veterinary as well as pet services, including animal shelters, boarding kennels, dog and pet walking, are all allowed.

Financial services are also allowed.

Transportation services will go on.

Community services such as waste collection, social services, sewage treatment, and emergency services will continue as usual.

Real estate and rentals

Open houses are banned. Property viewings can happen by appointment only.

Short-term accommodation will only be offered to “individuals who are in need if housing.”

Seasonal camping grounds

Only campsites with power, water services, and sewage disposal facilities may be open to the public. All recreational amenities on the campsite, other than shower and washrooms, must be closed.

Maintenance and construction works

Property repair and maintenance is permitted.

All construction and related supporting services will continue.

Manufacturing and production

Businesses are permitted to remain open if they extract, manufacture, process and supply materials, goods, products, and equipment. They are additionally allowed to stay open if they support and facilitate the distribution of goods.

Agriculture and food production will continue to run.

Media industries

Film production is allowed to operate without studio audiences and with less than 50 performers on a film or TV set.
Musicians and players of brass or wing instruments must be separated from other performers by plexiglass or any other kind of impermeable barrier.

Libraries

Libraries may continue to be open using curbside pickup or delivery. Materials returned to the library must be quarantined or disinfected before they are recirculated.

Child-care services, addiction supports, mental health and social services are permitted to take place in these facilities.

Tourism

The following businesses will no longer be operating till further notice: water parks, amusement parks, casinos, gaming establishments and bingo halls, theatres and cinemas, concert venues, museums and cultural facilities, zoos and aquariums (except for animal care), and tour and guide services.

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