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Businesses Permitted to Open and Sector Specific Restrictions

The Government of Ontario issued a Stay-at-Home order beginning Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. Everyone is required to stay home except for essential purposes. This measure will be in effect until May 20, 2021. Learn more.

Grey Zone
Under consideration as of March 8

Indoor gatherings

You should stay home as much as possible.

No indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household and one person who lives alone.

If you live alone, you can have close contact with only one other household.

You should not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary.

Outdoor gatherings

10-person limit for outdoor organized public events and social gatherings where physical distancing can be maintained.

Religious services

10-person limits for indoor or outdoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding and funeral services, where physical distancing can be maintained (applies in any venue other than a private dwelling).

Indoor social gatherings associated with or following any wedding, funeral, or religious service, rite, or ceremony are not permitted. Outdoor social gatherings where physical distancing can be maintained are limited to 10 people or less.

Virtual and drive-in events and religious services, rites or ceremonies permitted.


In store shopping permitted for all retail, subject to capacity limits that must be publicly posted of:

  • 50 per cent capacity for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores
  • 50 per cent capacity for pharmacies
  • 25 per cent capacity for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres

Stores must have signs posted requiring patrons to self screen.  If you do not pass the self screen, you should not enter.

Shopping malls can open with restrictions:

  • Retail stores within malls will have a limit of 25 per cent capacity
  • Individuals must physically distance and wear a face covering, with some exceptions
  • Indoor dining spaces must be closed including tables and seating in food courts, with some exceptions
  • People should not loiter in shopping malls and stores within the malls


Indoor and outdoor dining service prohibited.

Take out, drive through and delivery permitted, including alcohol.

Personal care services

Personal care services such as hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, tanning studios, tattoo parlours and other cosmetic services are not permitted to operate.

Health care appointments with regulated health professionals for services like physiotherapy and massage therapy are permitted.


More amenities can open, subject to conditions (i.e. golf courses).

Day camps can resume.

Team sports are not permitted, with limited exceptions.

Sports and recreational fitness facilities closed, with limited exceptions (i.e. use by professional and high-performing athletes, access to physical therapy for individuals with a disability as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act).


Libraries are open but use is limited to computers and contactless pick-up. Books and other circulating materials must be reserved over the phone or online for pick up.

Animal services

Vet services are permitted.

Pet services such as pet sitting services, pet walking services, pet grooming and pet training services are permitted.

Household services

Domestic and cleaning and maintenance services are permitted.

Sector-Specific Guidelines And Posters

Business Resources During Covid

1. Recall Letter Template: This document provides you with guidelines and a sample letter to provide to your employee if a recall is required. It can be customized and used to call your employees back to work while informing them of your safety measures against COVID-19. Download now.
(It is advisable to consult a lawyer to confirm considerations that may apply to recall in accordance with the Employment Standards Act and Human Rights Act).

2. “We Are Open” poster: The “We are open” poster will help you inform your new and old customers know that your business is open again. You can customize it to your needs and convey important information clearly and quickly. Download now.

3. Sample CECRA Letter For Tenants: Invite your landlord to participate in the Canada Emergency Commercial Rental Assistance program with this letter template. Plug-in your information to let your landlord know when your lease expires, what actions you’ve taken to obtain financial relief during the crisis, and why their participation in the program would help. Download now.

4. Sample CECRA Letter for Landlord: Notify your tenants about the relief from the federal government available to them and open a discussion about the Canada Emergency Rent Assistance program. Let them know your thoughts on the program so far and your intended course of action. Download now.

5. Notice to Customers (Business Closure): If the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing you to temporarily close your business, you may need a sign to communicate this information to your customers, letting them know when you aim to reopen and how you can be reached in the meantime. Download now.

6. Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit for COVID -19: The guidelines and resources contained in this toolkit will help businesses plan for and adapt to the disruption of COVID-19 and any future influenza pandemics. Download now.

7. Post-Pandemic Business Playbook: This document is intended for informational purposes only to provide an overview of the potential hazards posed in the workplace due to COVID-19. It is not intended as medical advice, to provide a comprehensive risk assessment for all workplaces, or to replace any legislated workplace safety obligations. Download now.

8. COVID-19 Visitor Screening Questionnaire: The screening questionnaire will help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the potential risk of exposure to your workforce and visitors and can be used as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the workplace. Download now.

9. Pandemic Recovery Return to Business Checklist: This checklist by WSPS is intended as a self-assessment tool to assist you in ramping back up to regular business operations. Download now.

10. Post-Pandemic checklist for businesses returning after working remotely: This guidance document is a self-assessment tool intended for Businesses Returning to the Workplace after Working Remotely and includes links to credible resources and valuable information to assist you where you have identified gaps. Download now.

11. Post Pandemic checklist for customers returning after shutdown: This guidance document is a self-assessment tool intended for Business Returning after Shutdown of Operations and includes links to credible resources and valuable information to assist you where you have identified gaps Download now.


The material on this website is provided as general information only and is not intended to provide specific legal advice for any individual and should not be relied upon in that regard.

Links to other websites are provided for your information and convenience only. Linked websites are not under our control and we are not in any way liable for any loss or damage arising from browsing or using these websites.

Although we do the best to provide useful information, we cannot guarantee that information expressed is accurate or up-to-date. Please note that the content of this website can change without notice.