Read The Whole Text Of What You Can And Can't Do During The Stay At Home Order
Declaration of emergency
In response to the alarming rise ofcovid 19 cases, a declaration of emergency was made on January 12, 2021 for all of Ontario.
This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts.
The declaration of emergency allows the government to:
- strengthen public health and workplace safety measures
- create and enforce emergency orders
The purpose is to help:
- keep people at home as much as possible and save lives
- stop the spread of covid 19 in communities
- prevent the hospital system from becoming overwhelmed
- protect vulnerable populations and those who care for them
The results of the enhanced public health measures will be evaluated throughout the provincial emergency to determine when it is safe to lift any restrictions, or if they need to be extended.
What this means
Thecovid 19 Response Framework (colour-coded zones) is paused.
The provincewide shutdown will continue with stronger public health and workplace safety measures.
Stay at home
As of January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., a stay at home order is in effect for all of Ontario.
This means you must stay at home. You should only go out for necessities, such as:
- getting food, beverages or medication
- going to medical appointments
- supporting vulnerable community members
- child care
- attending school or a post-secondary institution
- going to a bank
- accessing government services
- getting exercise or walking pets
- going to work, if you can’t do it remotely
Businesses must ensure that all employees work from home if they can.
Do not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary.
Limit close contact to only members of your household (the people you live with). If you live alone, you may consider having close contact with one other household only.
Up to 5 people may gather outdoors, as long as you can keep 2 metres physical distance from each other. You should also wear a mask or face covering.
You may attend a funeral, religious service or wedding of up to 10 people.
If you do not follow these rules for gatherings:
- organizers may be fined $10,000
- each attendee may receive a $750 ticket
- enforcement personnel may break up the gathering or temporarily close the premises
Stop the spread
You should always:
- stay home if you have covid 19 symptoms, even if they are mild
- stay two metres apart from people you don’t live with
- wear a mask or face covering properly in indoor public spaces and outside any time physical distancing is not possible — you may be fined if you don’t
- wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- sneeze and cough into your sleeve
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- get tested if you think you have symptoms or have been exposed to covid 19
You can also download the COVID Alert mobile app to protect yourself and your community.
Individuals and businesses who are not following the orders can be fined.
The set fines are:
- $750 for not following an order
- $1,000 for preventing others (including individuals, employees or other workers) from following an order
Maximum fines can be up to $100,000 for individuals and $10 million for a corporation.
Failure to follow the rules could also result in prosecution or even a year in jail.
What is open and closed
Below are some of the key changes during the declaration of emergency.
As of January 11, 2021, elementary and secondary school students resumed in-person instruction in the following northern public health unit regions:
- District of Algoma Health Unit
- North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
- Northwestern Health Unit
- Porcupine Health Unit
- Sudbury and District Health Unit
- Thunder Bay District Health Unit
- Timiskaming Health Unit
Elementary and secondary schools will be teaching classes remotely until February 10, 2021 in:
- Toronto Public Health
- Peel Region Public Health
- York Region Public Health
- Windsor-Essex County Health
- Hamilton Public Health Services
For all other public health unit regions, schools will continue teaching classes remotely for now. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will advise on when regions can return to in-person learning by January 20, 2021.
Post-secondary schools can stay open for virtual instruction, with limited exceptions where in-person teaching is required (for example, clinical training, trades).
In-person learning will be available for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning. Contact your school board for more information.
Additional health and safety measures
The following new health and safety measures will be put in place in all Ontario elementary and secondary schools:
- students in Grades 1 to 12 must wear masks or face coverings:
- in schools, including in hallways and during classes
- on school transportation
- outdoors during recess, where distance cannot be maintained
- enhanced screening protocols will be recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health — Ontario’s , will be updated to reflect the new screening criteria covid 19 School and Child Care Screening Tool
- targeted covid 19 testing will be expanded
Child care and after school programs
Child care for children who are not school-aged will remain open with enhanced health and safety measures.
Where elementary schools are closed for in-person instruction:
- before- and after-school programs are closed and may not charge parent fees
- emergency child care for school-aged children will be provided for eligible health care, public safety and other frontline workers
Contact your municipality or municipal service system managers to see if you are eligible for targeted emergency child care.
Additional health and safety measures
The following new health and safety measures are being put in place provincewide:
- additional screening, which will be recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health and will align school screening protocols
- voluntary participation in targeted covid 19 testing
These enhancements are in addition to the existing health and safety measures already required.
Most stores can open for curbside pickup and delivery only, with the exceptions below.
In-store shopping with reduced capacity limits is allowed for:
- supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmer’s markets and other stores that primarily sell food: 50% capacity
- pharmacies: 50% capacity
- discount and big-box retailers that sell groceries: 25% capacity
- stores that sell beer, wine and spirits: 25% capacity
In-store shopping by appointment only is allowed for:
- safety supply stores
- businesses that sell, rent or repair assistive, mobility or medical devices, aids or related supplies
- optical stores that sell prescription eyewear
- businesses that sell cars, trucks, motorcycles and other motor vehicles
Shopping malls are only open for:
- access to grocery stores, pharmacies and health care services, such as a dentist’s office
- picking up purchases from a designated pickup area, either:
- indoors, by appointment only
- outdoors, with no prior appointment needed
Retail stores can only be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
These hours of operation do not apply to:
- supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmer’s markets and other stores that primarily sell food
- discount and big box retailers that sell groceries
- gas stations
- restaurants for take-out and delivery only
Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments can open for take-out, drive-through and delivery only.
Indoor and outdoor dining are not allowed, except in limited circumstances (for example, in hospitals or airports).
Downhill skiing, golf courses and outdoor driving ranges are closed to the public. Maintenance is allowed.
Cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling and dog sledding can stay open, as long as they follow public health requirements.
- Permitted construction activities or projects and related services, including land surveying and demolition services.
- Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector and long-term care, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and
conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.
- Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, provincial and municipal
infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy, mining and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.
- Construction projects and services that support the operations of, and provide new capacity in schools, colleges, universities, municipal infrastructure
and child care centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
- Construction projects under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program
- Construction projects and services that support the operations of Broadband internet and cellular technologies and services.
- Critical industrial construction activities required for,
- the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
- significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced,
- industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance,
and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to
combatting the COVID-19covid 19 pandemic.
- Construction projects that are due to be completed before July 2021 and that would provide additional capacity in the production, processing,
manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products.
- Construction projects that were commenced before January 12, 2021, and that would,
- provide additional capacity for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and
delivery services, or
- provide additional capacity in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services.
- Residential construction projects where,
- a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
- the project is a condominium, mixed use or other residential building, or
- the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before January 12, 2021.
- Construction to prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading,
roads or utilities infrastructure.
- Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing
- Below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects, such as apartments and condominiums. The Ontario government also provided that
businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines.
Construction on any project intended to provide either,
- affordable housing, or
- shelter or supports for vulnerable persons,
If the project is being funded in whole or in part by, or is being undertaken by, any of the following:
- the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,
- an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,
- a municipality,
- a service manager as defined in the Housing Services Act, 2011, or
- a registered charity and not for profit within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada).
- Workplace testing