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Province-Wide Shutdown and Stay at Home Order
Emergency Declaration

Public Health Measures

Stronger public health and workplace safety measures under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and the Reopening Ontario Act.

Stay at Home Order
effective January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

The Ontario government has declared a second provincial emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). As part of this second provincial emergency, the stay-at-home order requires everyone to remain at home, with exceptions for essential reasons, 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

Businesses must ensure that all employees work from home if they can.

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

For details about the Order and exemptions, see O.Reg 11/21 Stay-at-home Order.

Additional measures under the Province-Wide Shutdown

These additional measures under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020 are in effect for all regions of Ontario and will remain in place until at least Thursday, February 11, 2021. Further details about the province-wide shutdown can be found on the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19: provincewide shutdown webpage.

The following additional public health measures are now applicable: 

  • Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a maximum of 5 people, with limited exceptions.
  • Individuals are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open.
  • Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you are unable to maintain a physical distance of two metres or more from others.  
  • All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.
  • Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.

Schools and Child Care Centres

Schools in Windsor-Essex County will not return to in-person instruction until February 10, 2021. The following new measures will come into effect when in-person learning resumes:

  • Mandatory masking for Grade 1-3 and requirements for mask wearing outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Enhanced screening protocols
  • Expanded targeted testing

Child care centres for non-school aged children will continue to remain open, Enhanced screening protocols will be implemented to align with school screening requirements. Child care centres will also have the opportunity to voluntarily participate in targeted, asymptomatic testing.  Before and after school programs will be authorized to resume when in-person learning resumes.

New Enforcement Measures

  • All provincial offences officers, including police officers, will have the authority to disperse crowds indoors as well as outdoors. For example, when a group of more than five people who are not from the same household are gathering outdoors, they can be required to leave and the premise may be closed.
  • Individuals have a duty to identify themselves when a police officer has reasonable and probable grounds that an offence under EMCPA has been committed.
  • Enforcement officers will have the authority to issue tickets to individuals, employees and corporations in retail settings and businesses if found not complying with an order (e.g. staff member or customer not wearing a face covering).

For additional details, please refer to Ontario Regulation 82/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 1 or review a summary document from the Government of Ontario: Enhancing Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures in the Provincewide Shutdown (January 12, 2021).

The Windsor-Essex County region continues to remain in the Grey Level (Lockdown) of the COVID-19 Response Framework and as such the following public health measures continue to be applicable:

Capacity Limits

  • All businesses or facilities that engage in retail sales to the public must post a sign in a location visible to the public that states the maximum capacity under which they are permitted to operate.
  • Discount and big-box retailers that sell groceries are limited to 25% capacity.
  • Stores that sell liquor, wine and spirits are limited to 25% capacity.
  • Wedding services, funeral services, and other religious services, rites or ceremonies limited to 10 people indoors or 10 people outdoors with physical distancing maintained.
  • No more than 10 performers may be permitted to be on the film, television set, concert venue, theatre, or cinema at any given time.

Closures

  • No drive-in or drive-thru events allowed (for entertainment).
  • Hardware stores closed for in-person retail shopping (i.e., curbside pick-up or delivery only)
  • All indoor and outdoor dining services closed (i.e., take-out, drive through, delivery permitted)
  • Facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness are closed (with exceptions). Outdoor recreational amenities, such as outdoor ice rinks, trails remain open (with restrictions, e.g. no team sports played)
  • Golf courses and driving ranges are closed
  • Meeting and event spaces closed (with limited exceptions)
  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas (includes drive in or drive through events) are closed for all purposes, including rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted event
  • Non-essential retail open for curbside pick-up or delivery only (i.e., in-person retail shopping not permitted) – several exceptions apply such as stores for grocery, convenience, hardware, beer, wine, liquor, pharmacies.
  • Personal Care Services are closed (e.g., hair and barber salons, nail salons)
  • Casinos, Bingo Halls, and Gaming Establishments closed
  • The person responsible for a business that is permitted to be open must prepare a safety plan and make it available upon request.

Additional information about closures can be found in the Enhancing Public Health Workplaces Safety Measure in the Province wide Shutdown document. Additional information for specific sectors is available below.

Key Enhanced Measures

Province-Wide Shutdown
Emergency Declaration
effective, Thursday, January 14th, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

COVID-19 Response Framework Measures

There are no organized indoor public events or social gatherings permitted, except with members of the same household. Limit for outdoor organized public events and social gatherings is:

  • 5 people outdoors
  • Physical distancing must be maintained.
  • Wearing a face mask or covering outdoors is recommended when 2 metres physical distancing can’t be maintained.

Capacity limits for wedding services, funeral services, and other religious services, rites or ceremonies:

  • 10 people indoors
  • 10 people outdoors

Virtual and drive-in wedding services, funeral services, religious services, rites or ceremonies are encouraged.

  • No drive-in or drive-thru events are allowed for the purposes of entertainment.
  • Work from Home, Except Where Necessary – a business or organization that is open shall ensure that any person who performs work for them conducts their work remotely, with limited exception, unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace.

For more details, refer to the Government of Ontario’s website.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – Specific Enhanced Measures

General Instructions for residents:

  • Zero tolerance on all COVID-19 prevention measures.
  • Do not visit other residential premises except for essential reasons.
  • Cancel, postpone, or hold virtually any other discretionary in-person activities, or participate only with your household and essential supports.

Workplace Instructions

  • Prohibit non-essential visitors (persons whose presence is not essential to the functioning of the workplace as a workplace) from attending their facilities.

COVID-19 Response Framework Measures

  • Indoor and outdoor dining service is closed.
  • Take out, drive through, and food delivery permitted, including alcohol.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – Specific Enhanced Measures

  • No additional measures.

Additional COVID-19 Guidance For Restaurants, Bars and Food and Drink Establishments

COVID-19 Response Framework Measures

  • Facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities are closed except for:
    • The sole use of high performance athletes including parasport athletes, and specified professional leagues (e.g., NHL, CFL, MLS, NBA)
    • Specified purposes (e.g., day camps, child care)
  • Community centres and multi-purpose facilities are permitted to be open for certain activities (e.g., child care services, day camps, social services such as mental health or addictions support)
  • Outdoor recreational amenities (e.g., ice rinks, ski hills, snow trails) are open with restrictions (e.g., no team sports)

For additional clarity, the following outdoor recreational amenities may remain open in Grey-Lockdown:

  1. Parks and recreational areas.
  2. Baseball diamonds.
  3. Batting cages.
  4. Soccer, football and sports fields.
  5. Tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts.
  6. Basketball courts.
  7. BMX parks.
  8. Skate parks.
  9. Golf courses and driving ranges.
  10. Frisbee golf locations.
  11. Cycling tracks and bike trails.
  12. Horse riding facilities.
  13. Shooting ranges, including those operated by rod and gun clubs.
  14. Outdoor ice rinks.
  15. Ski hills.
  16. Snow trails, including snowmobile, cross country ski and snow shoe trails.
  17. Playgrounds.
  18. Portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment.

These above listed outdoor amenities MUST comply with the following:

  • 2m physical distancing is maintained between individuals at all times within the amenity
  • Team sports are NOT played or practiced
  • Locker rooms, change rooms, showers and clubhouses remain closed, except to the extent they provide access to a washroom or a portion of the amenity that is used to provide first aid

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – Specific Enhanced Measures

Recreational Centres:

  • Strictly follow the number of people allowed in the establishment under the regulations.
  • Maintain lists with names and contact information of anyone entering the facility to assist with contact tracing in the event of an exposure.

Additional COVID-19 Guidance For Sports and Recreational Fitness Facilities

COVID-19 Response Framework Measures

All meeting and event spaces are closed with limited exceptions for:

  • Child care centres, day camps for children, and authorized recreational and skill building programs within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014
  • Court services
  • Government services
  • Mental health and addiction support services (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous) are permitted to a maximum of 10 people
  • Provision of social services
  • Contact information must be collected for every member of the public who attends a meeting or event. These records must be maintained for at least one month and provided to the Health Unit upon request (court services exempted)

Additional Provincial Measures (effective Saturday, December 26 at 12:01 a.m.)

For more details, refer to the Government of Ontario’s website.

  • Day camps for children closed

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – Specific Enhanced Measures

  • No additional measures.

Additional COVID-19 Guidance For Meetings and Event Spaces

COVID-19 Response Framework Measures

Retail is generally permitted to be open for curbside pick-up or delivery only (in-person retail shopping not permitted) with some exceptions:

  • Supermarkets, grocery stores, indoor farmer’s markets that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies are permitted to be open for in-person shopping at 50% capacity where in-person shopping is permitted. There are no restrictions to operating hours.
  • Discount retailers and big-box retailers that also sell groceries are limited to 25% capacity. There are no restrictions to operating hours.
  • Safety supply stores or businesses that sell, rent, or repair medical devices and optical stores that sell prescription eyewear are limited to 50% capacity by appointment only and limiting operating hours between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Stores that sell liquor, wine and spirits are limited to 25% capacity with operating hours between 9 a.m. and 8 pm.
  • All businesses or facilities that are permitted to be open to the public for retail sales must post a sign in a location visible to the public that states the maximum capacity under which they are permitted to operate.
  • Motor/recreational vehicle sales permitted to be open for in-person shopping by appointment only, with hours of operation between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Garden centres, plant nurseries can only provide curbside or delivery services, 7 am and 8 pm.
  • Outdoor markets, including farmer’s markets and holiday markets are permitted outdoors only if they primarily sell food to the public, with hours of operation between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • General retail (e.g. hardware stores, pet food, computer stores, cannabis retail stores) are permitted curbside pick-up only if the item was ordered before the patron arrives, or delivery with operating hours between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m (i.e., in-person shopping is not permitted).

Safety Plan

The person responsible for a business that is open must prepare and make available a safety plan. The plan must:

  • Describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business, place, facility or establishment to reduce spread of COVID-19.
  • Include measures for screening, physical distancing, masks, cleaning, disinfecting and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Be in writing and made available to any person for review, on request.
  • Be posted in a visible place to come to the attention of those working ub or attending the location

Retail outlets in malls permitted to be open for pick-up or delivery (in-person retail shopping not permitted)

  • Access to shopping malls for limited purposes, including access to businesses and organizations permitted to be open (e.g., pharmacy, dentist); food court open for take-out; malls may also establish designated pick-up points inside or adjacent to the mall
  • Businesses that remain open must ensure that a 2 metre physical distance is maintained while customers are waiting in line inside and outside
  • Operating hours must be between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. only, except for access to grocery stores/supermarkets, pharmacies, and health care providers.

For more details, refer to the Government of Ontario’s website.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – Specific Enhanced Measures

Mall Instructions:

  • Prohibit consumption of food or drink while walking through malls.

Additional COVID-19 Guidance For Retail

COVID-19 Response Framework Measures

Note: For more details, refer to the Government of Ontario’s website or contact the Ontario Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Permitted construction projects and services include those related to:

  • Land surveying and demolition
  • Healthcare and long-term care sectors, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.
  • Safe and reliable operation or increased capacity of provincial and municipal infrastructure such as transit, transportation, energy, mining and justice sectors.
  • The operation and capacity of schools, colleges, universities, municipal infrastructure and child care centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
  • Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program related projects.
  • The operations of Broadband internet and cellular technologies and services.
  • Critical industrial construction activities required for petrochemical plants and refineries.
  • 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-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 homes, 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 public safety.
  • Below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects, such as apartments and condominiums.
  • 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 or agency 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).

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – Specific Enhanced Measures

  • No additional measures

Additional COVID-19 Guidance For Retail

COVID-19 Response Framework Measures

  • Under the provincial order, all personal service settings are closed

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – Specific Enhanced Measures

  • No additional measures.

Additional COVID-19 Guidance For Personal Care Services

COVID-19 Response Framework Measures

  • Under the provincial order, all casinos, bingo halls, and gaming establishments are closed

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – Specific Enhanced Measures

  • No additional measures.

Additional COVID-19 Guidance For Casinos, Bingo Halls, and Gaming Establishments

COVID-19 Response Framework Measures

Concert venues, theatres, and cinemas are closed, including drive-in and drive-through events.

For more details, refer to the Government of Ontario’s website.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – Specific Enhanced Measures

  • No additional measures

Additional COVID-19 Guidance For Cinemas

COVID-19 Response Framework Measures

Closed to spectators, except for:

  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas (includes drive in or drive through events) are closed for all purposes, including rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted event.

For more details, refer to the Government of Ontario’s website.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – Specific Enhanced Measures

  • No additional measures

Additional COVID-19 Guidance For Performing Arts

COVID-19 Response Framework Measures

Capacity limits for wedding services, funeral services, and other religious services, rites or ceremonies:

  • 10 people indoors
  • 10 people outdoors

Virtual and drive-in wedding services, funeral services, religious services, rites or ceremonies are encouraged.

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – Specific Enhanced Measures

  • No additional measures

Download a PDF version of these guidelines.

Additional COVID-19 Guidance Faith Based Organizations & Places of Worship

COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open.