April 17th Stay at Home Order in Ontario: What is Open/Allowed

  A stay-at-home order will take effect across Ontario starting this Thursday, April 8 at


A stay-at-home order will take effect across Ontario starting this Thursday, April 8 at 12:01 a.m.

That four-week measure, similar to one implemented in January, requires people to stay home except for essential trips like grocery shopping, accessing health-care services, work that cannot be done remotely and exercise.

On April 16th, Ontario announced new measures effective April 17th and 19th including restrictions on interprovincial travel and some outdoor amenities closure.

FYI: If you did not apply for the $400 Ontario Child Care Benefit payments (Support for Learners), you can now do so. Applications are open from May 3rd to 17th.

What is Open/Allowed During Ontario’s Stay-at-Home Order Starting April 8th (Updated with new measures announced on April 16th/ 18th)


  • Stay-at-Home order requires everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely. – Official Rules For When You Can Leave Your House During Ontario’s Stay at Home Order
  • In-person sales at discount and big box stores are limited to necessary goods like groceries, household cleaning supplies and pharmacy items.
  • Shopping malls are closed for in-person shopping. Access to shopping malls is limited to curbside pickup and only by appointment
  • Non-essential retailers are limited to curbside pick-up and delivery between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Delivery is permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Outdoor garden centres, plant nurseries and indoor greenhouses can open for retail sales with a capacity limit of 25 per cent.
  • Certain retail stores can open for in-person, appointment-only sales between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., up to 25 per cent capacity. Those businesses include: safety supply stores, businesses that sell, rent or repair medical devices and other aids, rental and leasing services for vehicles, machinery and other equipment, stores that sell prescription eyewear, businesses that sell vehicles, boats and watercraft, vehicle and equipment repair services, and telecommunications service stores offering repairs and technical support.
  • Outdoor parks and playgrounds open, but golf courses etc closed.
  • All publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools closed for in-person learning, and are teaching classes remotely.

Measures in detail:

According to the provincial website


All events and social gatherings:

  • Indoors and outdoors: not allowed, except with:
    • members of your household
    • one other person from outside of the household that lives alone

Religious, wedding and funeral services:

  • Indoors or outdoors: 10 people
  • Receptions are not permitted indoors or outdoors, except with members of the same household (the people you live with) or with one other person from outside of the household that lives alone
  • Drive-in services permitted


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

As of April 19, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., travel from Manitoba or Quebec into Ontario will be restricted. Exemptions will only be allowed for specified reasons, including:

  • going to work
  • receiving medical care or social services
  • business transport of goods
  • exercising Indigenous or treaty rights
  • your primary residence is in Ontario
  • you are moving to a new primary residence in Ontario
  • humanitarian or compassionate reasons, such as providing care or services to a person who requires assistance due to their state of health

Businesses that can open:

Supply chain

Businesses allowed to open if they supply essential:

  • support
  • products
  • supplies
  • systems
  • services, including processing, packaging, warehousing, distribution, delivery and maintenance

Meeting or event spaces

Only permitted to open for:

  • child care centres and authorized recreational and skill building programs (as described in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014)
  • court services
  • government services
  • mental health and addictions support services (for example, Alcoholics Anonymous), permitted to a maximum of 10 people
  • social services
  • collective bargaining, so long as more than ten people are permitted to occupy the rented space

Contact information recording required, with the exception of court services.

Restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments

Take out, drive through, and delivery permitted only (includes the sale of alcohol).

Night clubs and strip clubs only permitted to open if they operate as a food or drink establishment, for takeout, drive-through and delivery only


Supermarkets, convenience stores and other stores that primarily sell food

Open for:

  • in-person retail (25% capacity where two metres physical distancing can be maintained)
  • curbside pick-up
  • delivery


Open for:

  • in-person retail (25% capacity, where two metres physical distancing can be maintained)
  • curbside pick-up
  • delivery

Discount and big box stores

Discount and big box stores can only open for in-person shopping at a maximum capacity of 25% for:

  • grocery items
  • pet care supplies
  • household cleaning supplies
  • pharmaceutical items
  • health care items
  • personal care items
  • household safety supplies
  • school supplies

Shopping malls

Shopping malls are only open:

  • for access to grocery stores, pharmacies, health care services (such as a dentist’s office) and government and court services
  • for picking up purchases from a designated pick up area, by appointment only
  • between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for access to stores or services
  • between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. for curbside pickup

Malls may have:

  • only one single designated location for pick-up inside
  • any number of designated locations outside

Motor vehicle sales

  • In-person shopping by appointment only
  • Maximum capacity: up to 25%
  • Operating hours limited to between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for sales, with delivery allowed between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
  • Includes cars, trucks and motorcycles; recreational vehicles including motor homes; trailers and travel trailers; boats and other watercraft; and other motorized vehicles, including power-assisted bicycles, golf carts, scooters, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles
  • Members of the public must not be permitted where products are neither sold nor displayed for sale
  • Subject to certain conditions related to test drives, including:
    • limited to no more than 10 minutes
    • a maximum of two people, including up to one sales representative permitted
    • windows must be opened at all times unless if two people who are not members of the same household are present in the vehicle

Garden centres, plant nurseries and greenhouses

Outdoor garden centres, plant nurseries and indoor greenhouses may open for in-person shopping:

  • at a maximum capacity of 25%
  • between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. only
  • curbside pickup is allowed between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Stores that sell liquor, beer, wine and spirits

Stores that sell liquor, including beer, wine and spirits may open for in-person shopping:

  • at a maximum capacity of 25%
  • between 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for sales, with delivery allowed between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Other retail open for in-store shopping

In-store shopping is allowed by appointment only for:

  • 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 rentals
  • optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public
  • repair, essential maintenance and rental services for vehicles and equipment
  • telecommunications providers or service, for cellphone sales, repairs or technical support only

These retailers may open for in-person shopping:

  • at a maximum capacity of 25%
  • between 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for sales, with delivery allowed between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Cannabis stores


  • for curbside pickup only, by appointment, between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • to provide delivery between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

All other retail


  • for curbside pickup and delivery only, by appointment
  • between 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for sales, with delivery allowed between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.


Permitted services include:

  • gas stations and other fuel suppliers
  • automated and self-service car washes
  • laundromats and drycleaners
  • snow clearing and landscaping services
  • security services for residences, businesses and other properties
  • domestic services to support children, seniors or vulnerable persons, including:
    • housekeeping
    • cooking
    • indoor and outdoor cleaning and maintenance services
  • courier, postal, shipping, moving and delivery services
  • funeral and related services
  • staffing services including providing temporary help
  • veterinary services and other businesses that provide pet services and for the health and welfare of animals, including:
    • farms
    • boarding kennels
    • stables
    • animal shelters
    • research facilities
    • pet groomers
    • pet sitters
    • pet walkers
    • pet trainers (including for service animals)

Owners of animals or their representative can visit their animal, assist in the care or feeding of the animal or ride the animal at a boarding kennel or stable.

Rental accommodations


Hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, cottages, resorts student residences and other shared rental accommodations

  • Indoor pools, fitness centres or other recreational facilities closed.

Short-term rentals

Short-term rentals (for example, cottages, cabins) are only to be provided to individuals who are in need of housing.

With the exception of exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right, ice fishing huts may:

  • only be used by to members of the same household
  • not be used overnight

Seasonal campgrounds

Campsites must be made available only for trailers and recreational vehicles that are:

  • used by individuals who are in need of housing
  • permitted to be there by the terms of a full season contract

Only campsites with electricity, water services and facilities for sewage disposal may be provided.

All recreational facilities in the campground and all other shared facilities in the campground, other than washrooms and showers, must be closed.

Other areas of the campground must be closed to the general public (may only be opened for preparing the seasonal campground for reopening).

Post-secondary institutions

Post-secondary institutions open for virtual instruction, with limited exceptions where in-person instruction is required (e.g., clinical training, trades). Subject to physical distancing with limited exceptions.

In-person teaching (each instructional space at the institution at one time) and in-person examinations cannot exceed 10 persons, with limited exemptions for:

  • diagnostic cardiac sonography and diagnostic medical sonography
  • diagnostic ultrasound
  • medical imaging
  • medical laboratory assistant and Medical laboratory technician
  • medical radiation technology
  • medicine
  • mental health and addictions services, including psychology services, social work services and counselling services
  • nursing
  • paramedic
  • personal support worker, supportive care worker, home care worker or a similar occupation
  • pharmacy/pharmacy technician
  • public health inspector, if the program is accredited by the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors
  • rehabilitation sciences (nutrition, speech language pathology, occupational science, and physiotherapy)
  • respiratory therapy

Additional requirements for in-person teaching that involves singing or the playing of brass or wind instruments.

Financial services

Financial services that are permitted include:

  • capital markets and related securities trading and advisory services
  • banking/credit union activities including credit intermediation
  • insurance
  • land registration services
  • pension and benefits payment services
  • financial services including payroll and payment processing and accounting and tax services

Real estate (including pre-sale construction)

No open houses – showing a property permitted by appointment only.

Telecommunications and IT infrastructure/service providers

Permitted businesses include:

  • information technology (IT) services, including online services, software products and the facilities necessary for their operation and delivery
  • telecommunications providers and services (phone, internet, radio, cell phones etc.) and facilities necessary for their operation and delivery
  • newspapers, radio and television broadcasting


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 are allowed.

Transportation services

Permitted services include:

  • transportation services provided by air, water, road, and rail, including taxis and other private transportation providers
  • support services for transportation services, including:
    • logistical support, distribution services, warehousing and storage, truck stops and tow operators, and
    • services that support the operations and safety of transportation systems including maintenance and repairs
  • businesses that provide and support online retail, including by providing warehousing, storage and distribution of goods that are ordered online

Marinas are closed, except for:

  • repairing or servicing boats or other watercraft
  • placing boats or other watercraft in the water to be secured until the marina is open to the public
  • services that enable people to access their place or residence or other property, to support government operations or services, or for the transportation of items by commercial barges
  • operating a restaurant, bar, and other food or drink establishment for takeout or delivery

In-person driving instruction

In-person driving instruction only permitted for:

  • instruction for drivers of commercial motor vehicles
  • the Ontario Driver Certification Program (administered by the Ministry of Transportation), for motor vehicles for which:
    • a class of driver’s licence other than Class G, G1, G2, M, M1 or M2 is required
    • an air brake endorsement is required
  • students at private career colleges, in accordance with certain conditions


Businesses are permitted if they:

  • extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (for example primary metal/steel, blow molding, component manufacturers and chemicals that feed the end-product manufacturer), regardless of whether those other manufacturers are inside or outside of Ontario
  • support and facilitate the movement of goods within integrated North American and global supply chains

Agriculture and food production

Businesses are allowed if they:

  • produce food and beverages, agricultural products (including plants), including by farming, harvesting, aquaculture, hunting and fishing
  • process, manufacture or distribute:
    • food
    • beverages
    • crops
    • agricultural products
    • animal products and by-products
  • support the food or agricultural products supply chains and the health and safety of food, animals and plants


As of April 17, all non-essential workplaces in the construction sector will be closed, with only essential construction permitted to operate. Examples of non-essential sites may include shopping malls, hotels and office towers.

Critical infrastructure projects such as new hospitals, roads and bridges will continue. Residential construction that has already started will continue.

Essential construction

Construction activities or projects and related services (including land surveying and demolition services) are essential if they:

  • are associated with the health care sector or long-term care, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space
  • ensure safe and reliable operations of, or provide new capacity in:
    • municipal infrastructure
    • provincial infrastructure, including but not limited to, the transit, transportation, resource, energy and justice sectors
  • support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage, natural gas distribution, transmission and storage or in the supply of resources
  • support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, schools, colleges, universities or child care centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014
  • are required for:
    • the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries
    • significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work commenced before April 17, 2021
    • industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance or enhancement of personal protective equipment, medical devices such as ventilators and other identified products directly related to combatting the covid 19 pandemic
  • would provide additional capacity in the production, processing, manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products
  • were started before April 17, 2021 and would provide additional capacity:
    • for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delivery services
    • in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services
    • to, or enhance the efficiency or operations of, businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials
  • support the operations of broadband internet and cellular technologies and services
  • are residential construction activities or projects and related services
  • prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure
  • are necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused, or that are not active, to ensure ongoing public safety
  • are funded in whole or in part by:
    • 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
  • are:
    • intended to provide shelter or supports for vulnerable persons or affordable housing
    • being funded in whole or in part by, or are being undertaken by:
      • 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 the Housing Services Act, 2011
      • a registered charity within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada)
      • a not-for-profit corporation

Resources and energy

Businesses that provide and ensure the domestic and global continuity of supply of resources are allowed, including:

  • resource exploration
  • mining
  • forestry
  • aggregates
  • petroleum and petroleum by-products
  • chemicals

Also allowed are:

  • electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage
  • natural gas distribution, transmission and storage

Community services

Businesses that deliver or support the delivery of community services are allowed, including:

  • sewage treatment and disposal
  • waste collection, transport, storage, processing, disposal or recycling
  • potable drinking water
  • critical infrastructure repair and maintenance including roads, dams, bridges
  • environmental rehabilitation, management and monitoring, and spill clean-up and response
  • administrative authorities that regulate and inspect businesses
  • professional and social services that support the legal and justice system
  • government services, including:
    • policing and law enforcement
    • fire and emergency services
    • paramedics
    • coroner and pathology services
    • corrections and court services
    • licences and permits
  • allotment gardens or community gardens

Facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities

Only open for:

  • identified high-performance athletes, including parasport athletes training and competing for the next Olympics/Paralympics, and specified professional leagues (for example, NHL and AHL
  • child care, mental health and addiction support services, social services or other specified purposes (includes community centres and multi-purpose facilities, such as YMCA) – 10 people maximum
  • access to physical therapy for a person with a disability (as defined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005)

Outdoor recreational amenities

Outdoor recreational amenities are closed. This includes:

  • outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, including:
    • golf courses
    • baseball diamonds
    • soccer fields
    • tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts
    • basketball courts
    • BMX parks
    • skate parks
  • portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment
  • picnic sites and picnic tables

Parks or recreational areas may be open for the purposes of permitting persons to walk through or use portions of the park or recreational area.

Playgrounds, play structures, and equipment can be used by children if both the children and their parents can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from others (other than a person who is a member of the same household, a member of one other household who lives alone, or a caregiver for any member of either household).

Outdoor parks and recreational areas, off-leash dog parks and benches in parks or recreational areas can be used if persons using the amenity maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any other person who is also using the facility, other than a person who is a member of the same household, a member of one other household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of either household.


Businesses and organizations that maintain research facilities and engage in research, including medical research and other research and development activities, are permitted.

Health care and social services


  • organizations and providers that deliver home care services or personal support services to seniors and persons with disabilities
  • regulated health professionals
  • professionals or organizations that provide in-person counselling services
  • organizations that provide health care, including:
    • retirement homes
    • hospitals
    • clinics
    • long-term care facilities
    • independent health facilities
    • mental health and addictions counselling supports
  • laboratories and specimen collection centres
  • manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, including:
    • medications
    • medical isotopes
    • vaccines and antivirals
    • medical devices
    • medical supplies
  • manufacturers, distributors and businesses that provide logistical support for products and services that support the delivery of health care
  • organizations that provide critical personal support services in home or residential services for individuals with physical disabilities
  • organizations that support the provision of food, shelter, safety or protection or social services and other necessities of life to economically disadvantaged and other vulnerable individuals
  • businesses that are primarily engaged in the provision of health and safety training (with conditions)

Media industries


  • sound recording, production, publishing and distribution businesses
  • commercial film and television production, including all supporting activities such as hair, makeup and wardrobe – with the following conditions:
    • no studio audiences permitted to be on the film or television set
    • no more than 50 performers may be on the film or television set
    • the film or television set may be located in any business or place, including any business or place that is otherwise required to be closed
    • set must be configured and operated in such a way as to enable persons on the set to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from other persons, except where necessary for the filming of the film or television production
    • hair or makeup services providers must wear appropriate personal protective equipment
    • singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier
    • the person responsible for the film or television production must ensure that the production operates in accordance with the guidance document titled “Film and television industry health and safety during covid 19” issued by the Film and Television Health and Safety Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, as amended from time to time.
  • film and television postproduction, visual effects and animation studios
  • book and periodical production, publishing and distribution businesses
  • commercial and industrial photography
  • interactive digital media businesses, including:
    • computer system software or application developers and publishers
    • video game developers and publishers


Circulating materials must be reserved over the telephone or online for contactless curbside, delivery or pick-up.

Patrons must only be permitted to enter the premises to facilitate the contactless drop-off and pick-up or access computers, photocopiers or similar services.

Patrons must not:

  • be in the book stacks
  • handle circulating materials that are shelved or in other areas of library storage

Circulating materials returned to the library must be disinfected or quarantined before they are recirculated.

Other permitted services include:

  • child care services
  • mental health and addiction support services, to a limit of 10 people
  • social services

Businesses not permitted to open

  • Amusement parks, water parks
  • Bathhouses and sex clubs
  • 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, no races or spectators)
  • Motorsports
  • Museums and cultural amenities
  • Personal care services
  • Tour and guide services
  • Zoos and aquariums (permitted to operate for the care of animals)

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