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COVID-19 and Business

Information for Businesses Re-opening

The Province of Ontario created a new framework (COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open) to guide the response to COVID-19 in all areas of Ontario. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit (LGLDHU) is in the GREEN (Prevent) stage of this framework. There are no changes in our rules for now. Depending on several factors related to COVID-19, the LGLDHU area could move into different stages of this framework, which would mean greater restrictions. Let’s continue to be COVID-smart. Let’s be kind, supportive, decisive, and united in how we fight COVID-19. We have the power to stop the spread. Let’s use it. Visit this website for more information about the Framework.

October 2, 2020 – The Government of Ontario implemented additional measures to keep people safe. These new measures include mandating the use of face coverings/masks in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces. For detailed information, see the menu entitled Mandatory Face Coverings/Masks in Ontario on our Face Coverings/Masks webpage. These new restrictions add to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) Medical Officer of Health Face Covering/Mask Instruction that was renewed on October 1, 2020. Read Dr. Stewart’s review of the Instruction and rationale for extension here. Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.

Read this Instruction and Rationale regarding the use of face coverings/masks in Enclosed Public Spaces. Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.

Notice to Workplaces regarding Screening Workers and Essential Visitors for COVID-19 Symptoms

Mandatory Mask Use Letter to Employers, Business Owners and Operators

October 2, 2020 – The Government of Ontario implemented additional measures to keep people safe. These new measures include mandating the use of face coverings/masks in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces. For detailed information, see the menu entitled Mandatory Face Coverings/Masks in Ontario on our Face Coverings/Masks webpage. These new restrictions add to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) Medical Officer of Health Face Covering/Mask Instruction that was renewed on October 1, 2020. Read Dr. Stewart’s review of the Instruction and rationale for extension here. Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.

October 2, 2020 – The Government of Ontario implemented additional measures to keep people safe. These new measures include mandating the use of face coverings/masks in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces. For detailed information, see the menu entitled Mandatory Face Coverings/Masks in Ontario on our Face Coverings/Masks webpage. These new restrictions add to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) Medical Officer of Health Face Covering/Mask Instruction that was renewed on October 1, 2020. Read Dr. Stewart’s review of the Instruction and rationale for extension here. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a face covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit would like to provide guidance to support owners/operators on how to reopen Personal Services Settings while reducing the risk of staff and clients from contracting COVID-19. Refer to our fact sheet on COVID-19 Guidance for Personal Service Settings.

The Ontario Government announced that Personal Service Settings offering certain services will be allowed to re-open in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark as of June 12, 2020, with appropriate precautions in place.

The following rules apply to food premises during Stage 3:

  • In addition to the services permitted in Stage 2, all services that tend to a customer’s face are permitted (e.g., facials, ear piercing, eyebrow grooming and eyelash extensions).
    • Examples of PSSs that were permitted to open in Stage 2 and are still permitted to be open in Stage 3 include:
      • Hair services (including barber shops, hair salons, hairdressers/stylists, colour consulting services, scalp treatment services, hair weaving services, and hair replacement services).
      • Beauty salons, shops and parlours (including beauticians, estheticians, cosmetology shops or salons, manicure and pedicure salons).
      • Hair removal services.
      • Diet centres (non-medical), diet workshops, weight control clinics, and weight-reduction centres (non-medical).
      • Piercing services.
      • Day spas.
      • Tanning salons.
      • Tattoo studios.
  • Patrons must wear face coverings except while receiving services on an area of their face that would otherwise be covered by a face covering.
  • Workers must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Personal care services must take measures to enable physical distancing between patrons, such as limiting the number of people who may be in the business at any one time.
  • Businesses should consider operating by appointment wherever possible.
  • To support the contact tracing done by public health, restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments must:
    • Record the name and contact information of every patron who enters an indoor or outdoor dining area in the establishment, other than patrons who temporarily enter the area to place, pick up or pay for a takeout order.
    • Maintain the records for a period of at least one month.
    • Only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.

Restrictions include:

  • Oxygen bars, bath houses, steam rooms and saunas are not yet permitted to open.
  • Baths, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods are closed except for therapeutic purposes prescribed by or administered by a regulated health professional.
  • Change rooms and showers for water amenities will be available to the public if operators have the ability to adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities.

For clarity, a business can open to offer other permitted services even if a restricted activity is its primary service.

To assist you in your preparation, please refer to Workplace Safety and Prevention Services: Guidance on Health and Safety for Personal Services Settings During COVID-19.

Personal Service Settings must also comply with the PSS Regulation in addition to Ontario’s Emergency Orders. For more COVID-19 related information and signage for Businesses, visit our COVID-19 (Coronavirus) webpage or call 1-800-660-5853 and ask to speak with a Public Health Inspector. Information for Personal Service Settings can also be found on our Information for Service Providers webpage.

For more information on Ontario’s re-opening visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario-whats-each-stage

October 2, 2020 – The Government of Ontario implemented additional measures to keep people safe. These new measures include mandating the use of face coverings/masks in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces. For detailed information, see the menu entitled Mandatory Face Coverings/Masks in Ontario on our Face Coverings/Masks webpage. These new restrictions add to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) Medical Officer of Health Face Covering/Mask Instruction that was renewed on October 1, 2020. Read Dr. Stewart’s review of the Instruction and rationale for extension here. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a face covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements. When indoors at a restaurant, we all must wear a face covering/mask, except when we’re eating and drinking. For example, wear your mask when walking to and from the bathroom and your table. Consider putting it on when your server is near to help protect them. When you have your food and drink at your table, you can remove your mask. A good precaution to take is to have alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you at your table and use it each time before putting your mask on and taking it off.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit would like to provide guidance to support owners/operators in their plans on how to re-open food premises included in Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the Re-opening Ontario Plan. While we have worked hard to flatten the curve, and our risk is lower, COVID-19 remains a public health threat and therefore public health measures must remain in place as we open up local businesses and services. It is important to be adequately prepared to open in a manner that reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 for your staff and your customers.

On July 13, 2020 the Premier of Ontario announced that the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark region could move into Stage 3 of Re-opening Ontario. This announcement means that food premises can now operate in a variety of ways depending on your ability to meet the requirements laid out in Ontario Regulation 362/0 Rules for Areas in Stage 3.

Food businesses have several options including continuing to operate as a takeout and/or delivery service, operating an outdoor patio and now re-opening sections of indoor seating areas in a manner that facilitates the physical distancing requirement of 2 metres/6 feet between patrons seated at different tables. As an owner/operator it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet all conditions set out in the Rules for Areas in Stage 3 regulation in order to be open.

The following rules apply to food premises during Stage 3:

  • All restaurants, bars, concession stands, and other food and drink establishments may open for indoor dine-in. Patio dining is still permitted.
  • Nightclubs are not yet safe to open, except for the purpose of serving food or drinks to patrons in accordance with the conditions that apply to restaurants and bars.
  • Patrons must be seated at all times in any area of the establishment in which food or drink is permitted except:
    • While entering the area and while moving to their table.
    • While placing or picking up an order.
    • While paying for an order.
    • While exiting the area.
    • While going to or returning from a washroom.
    • While lining up to do anything described in the points above.
    • Where necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  • Establishments must take appropriate measures to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres between patrons from different tables, unless separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
  • Buffet-style service is not yet permitted in Stage 3.
  • Singing or music may be performed by a person or group at the restaurant or bar, with restrictions, including barriers between the performers and patrons and physical distancing. Dancing may only be performed by someone working at the establishment, with restrictions.
  • Karaoke is permitted only outside of private karaoke rooms, which are not yet permitted to open in Stage 3, with restrictions including barriers, physical distancing and increased cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Physical distancing of two metres between patrons from different households or social circles also continues to apply to food trucks, food courts, concession stands and tours, including tastings at wineries, breweries and distilleries.
  • To support the contact tracing done by public health, restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments must:
    • Record the name and contact information of at least one member of every party of patrons that enters an indoor or outdoor dining area in the establishment, other than patrons who temporarily enter the area to place, pick up or pay for a takeout order.
    • Maintain the records for a period of at least one month
    • Only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.

The following measures/strategies must be in place prior to re-opening or expanding the services offered by food premises:

  • Establishments must take appropriate measures to ensure physical distancing of at least two meters between patrons from different households, including:

As many businesses have been closed, it is important that the following requirements under the Ontario Food Premises regulation are met:

  • The premises is thoroughly cleaned.
  • All refrigeration and freezer units are cleaned and checked to ensure they are operating at the proper temperatures and are equipped with thermometers.
  • Any unsafe food is disposed of.
  • Pest control measures are in place.
  • Additional cleaning and sanitizing supplies are available for the additional cleaning requirements.
  • Dishwashers are in working order.
  • Staff are properly trained on the precautions for COVID-19.
  • A certified food handler is on site during all hours of operation.

Please be aware that public health measures are requirements in order to operate and are enforceable under the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act.

When organizing a special event it is important to contact your municipality and the Health Unit to ensure that all regulatory requirements have been met. Ontario Regulation 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 sets forth the requirements for special events and these are summarized in this fact sheet: Operating a Special Event During Stage 3. It is especially important during the time of COVID-19 that organizers consider public health measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission at the event. The special event coordinator form will guide you through the planning process of the event and should be submitted to the Health Unit 14 days prior to the event.

Venues not otherwise restricted can open to conduct wedding ceremonies, funerals and similar gatherings within existing public health restrictions. The following requirements must be met:

  • Refer to O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 for more details on what COVID-19 restrictions are in place. If you are unsure of the rules, check with the relevant authority prior to holding an event.
  • Refer to the Province of Ontario news release on limiting the size of unmonitored and private social gatherings across Ontario.
  • October 2, 2020 – The Government of Ontario implemented additional measures to keep people safe. These new measures include mandating the use of face coverings/masks in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces. For detailed information, see the menu entitled Mandatory Face Coverings/Masks in Ontario on our Face Coverings/Masks webpage. These new restrictions add to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) Medical Officer of Health Face Covering/Mask Instruction that was renewed on October 1, 2020. Read Dr. Stewart’s review of the Instruction and rationale for extension here. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a face covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.
  • Effective September 19, 2020 the maximum number of people permitted to attend organized public events and social gatherings, except where the event is held at a place operated by a business or organization in accordance with O. Reg. 364/20, is reduced to 10 people indoors (previous limit of 50) and 25 people outdoors (previous limit of 100). This includes functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions (but not ceremonies) held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas.
  • Indoor wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony:
    • Can operate at a maximum of 30 percent capacity of the room in which the ceremony is taking place.
    • Guests that are not part of the same household shall follow physical distancing guidelines (e.g., minimum 2 metres/6 feet separation).
    • If the indoor wedding, funeral or  religious service, rite or ceremony is held at a private dwelling, no more than 10 people are allowed to attend.
  • Outdoor wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony
    • No more than 100 people may be in attendance.
    • Guests that are not part of the same household shall follow physical distancing guidelines (e.g., minimum 2 metres/6 feet separation).
  • Social gathering associated with a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite or ceremony:
    • Examples: wedding reception, funeral reception, gathering after a religious service.
    • No more than 10 people allowed if gathering is indoors.
    • No more than 25 people allowed if gathering is outdoors.
    • Guests that are not part of the same household shall follow physical distancing guidelines (e.g., minimum 2 metres/6 feet separation).
  • Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together. Gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted.
  • Guests that are not part of the same household should follow physical distancing guidelines.
  • If you are considering renting a space at a municipal-owned property, contact your municipality to discuss relevant rules and approvals. To be eligible for the 50 person indoor maximum or 100 person outdoor maximum, an event must be staffed/monitored to ensure public health and safety guidelines are being followed to minimize risk and limit any spread of COVID-19.
  • If you are considering renting a space operated by a private business owner, contact them to discuss relevant rules and approvals. To be eligible for the 50 person indoor maximum or 100 person outdoor maximum, an event must be staffed/monitored to ensure public health and safety guidelines are being followed to minimize risk and limit any spread of COVID-19.
  • See the Government of Ontario website for Guidance for meeting and event facilities during COVID-19.
  • Dine-in and bar services must be in-line with the related guidelines and restrictions.
  • Consider recording each patron’s name and contact information to support the contact tracing done by public health in the case of a patron or staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

October 2, 2020 – The Government of Ontario implemented additional measures to keep people safe. These new measures include mandating the use of face coverings/masks in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces. For detailed information, see the menu entitled Mandatory Face Coverings/Masks in Ontario on our Face Coverings/Masks webpage. These new restrictions add to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) Medical Officer of Health Face Covering/Mask Instruction that was renewed on October 1, 2020. Read Dr. Stewart’s review of the Instruction and rationale for extension here. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a face covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Please refer to our Face Coverings/Masks webpage for detailed information. Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements. A public place within a Place of Worship is defined by our Health Unit as the area(s) to which the general congregation has access to while indoors. The congregation and officiants using indoor common areas must wear a face covering/mask unless exempt. As long as the congregation does not have access, the area where the officiant(s) deliver their sermon is not considered a public space and therefore wearing a face covering/mask is not required. Officiants must be 2 metres/6 feet from each other and from the congregation at all times. Singing and choirs are not allowed during the Emergency Order issued by the Province. For more information, see the Ontario Ministry of Health – COVID-19 Advice: Religious Services, Rites or Ceremonies document.

As places of worship re-open, a risk assessment can be very helpful in the planning process as well as applying a combination of infection prevention and control practices that are appropriate for your place of worship. Things to consider could be:

  • Continuing to offer virtual services, phone/online counseling as an option for people.
  • Having a plan to assist people to line up and seat themselves according to physical distancing guidelines when you are planning in-person gatherings.
  • Having masks and hand sanitizer available and promoted.
  • Planning on a safe greeting to replace physical touch (e.g., waves, nods, smiles, air hugs).
  • Altering/removing routines that involve close contact or touching common items (e.g., communion, prayer books, donation baskets, choirs, buffets).
  • Determining a cleaning/disinfection plan.
  • Consider recording each patron’s name and contact information to support the contact tracing done by public health in the case of a patron or staff member testing positive for COVID-19

For a wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony, a place of worship can operate at a maximum of 30 percent capacity of the room in which the service/rite/ceremony is taking place. *Note: any gatherings held before or after a wedding, funeral or religious service are subject to the maximum gathering limits of 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors.

See further information below for employers, employees and for the public which can be adapted for your setting.

For guidance refer to the following documents:

October 2, 2020 – The Government of Ontario implemented additional measures to keep people safe. These new measures include mandating the use of face coverings/masks in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces. For detailed information, see the menu entitled Mandatory Face Coverings/Masks in Ontario on our Face Coverings/Masks webpage. These new restrictions add to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) Medical Officer of Health Face Covering/Mask Instruction that was renewed on October 1, 2020. Read Dr. Stewart’s review of the Instruction and rationale for extension here. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a face covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit would like to provide guidance to support owners/operators in their plans on how to reopen recreational water facilities included in Stage 2 of the Re-opening Ontario Plan. While we have worked hard to flatten the curve, and our risk is lower, COVID-19 remains a public health threat and therefore public health measures must remain in place as we open up local businesses and services. It is important to be adequately prepared to open in a manner that reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 for your staff and your customers.

The Ontario Government announced that as of June 12, 2020, the following recreational water facilities may reopen with appropriate precautions in place.

  • All indoor and outdoor swimming pools and outdoor splash pads and wading pools may open to the public with no access to high-contact aquatic features such as slides and climbing structures.
  • This includes public pools as well as pools situated in hotels, motels, condo parks, resorts and other private facilities.

Amusement parks and water parks are not yet permitted to open in Stage 3.

The following requirements must be met for recreational water facilities to operate during the COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • Change rooms and showers will be available to the public if operators can adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities.
  • Persons in the place of business shall maintain physical distancing of at least two meters from each other at all times by:
    • Reducing resting areas and pool capacity.
    • Limiting and distancing pool-side seating.
    • Timed entry (e.g., appointment only).
    • Equipment rented or loaned must be disinfected or quarantined appropriately between uses.
    • Aquatic activities such as fitness classes and swim lessons must be in line with physical distancing measures. For example, only other household members can assist swimmers with physical contact.

Additional resources and signage for businesses is available on this page.

Consider recording each patron’s name and contact information to support the contact tracing done by public health in the case of a patron or staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

As recreational water facilities have been closed for a significant period of time it is important that the following requirements under the Ontario Public Pools regulation are met including:

  • Requirement to notify the Medical Officer of Health that you intend to operate your pool
  • All equipment is operational
  • All chemical parameters are within the ranges as prescribed by the regulation
  • All safety equipment is in place
  • All signage is posted with additional signage regarding COVID-19 in place
  • A fresh supply of chemicals and test reagents is on-site
  • A trained operator is available on-site

A notification form is attached for your convenience. Due to the large number of anticipated opening inspections, please ensure you are completely ready and compliant with all relevant regulations to avoid delays in opening.

Please be aware that public health measures are requirements in order to operate and are enforceable under the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act.

Refer to our COVID-19 and Child Care section for further information.

Refer to this guidance document from the Ontario Berries organization: Guidelines for Berry Growers and Pick-Your-Own Operations. This document provides recommendations for safely operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has created this online toolkit: Working with farm operators to stop the spread of COVID-19 on farms. The online document will continue to be updated with new information as it becomes available.

  1. Increase Physical Distancing throughout sale
    • Garage sale may not take place inside your garage; everything must be placed outside on the front lawn.
    • Maintain physical distance of two metres at all times; even in any line ups that may form.
    • Create directional flow in aisles to prevent customers from crossing each other.
    • Limit the number of persons in the sale area so physical distancing can be maintained (maximum of 25 people to be present outdoors on the property, including hosts).
    • Avoid all close contact. Practice physical distancing and stay 2-metres (6 feet) away from others at all times. 
  2. Use Good Hygiene
    • Provide hand sanitizer at entrance/roadway.
    • Increase hand hygiene; hand wash or hand sanitizer after transactions.
    • Do not host a garage sale if feeling sick or unwell.
    • If you, or someone in your home has any symptoms of COVID-19 do not buy or sell any items. Stay home and self-isolate.
    • Use of gloves is an option for those handling money; encourage money be left on table and step away, likewise if providing change.
    • It is recommended you wear a mask. 
  3. Good Sanitizing Practices
    • Increase sanitation of high-touch surfaces.
    • After purchasing an item, thoroughly clean and disinfect it.
    • Avoid buying items that are difficult to clean.Host should encourage people not to touch items unless they are ready to buy it; disinfect any items that are touched and not purchased.
    • Use approved sanitizers on commonly and frequently touched areas at least once every 2 hours i.e. mixing 10mL of Bleach with 1L of water, Quaternary Ammonia, Hydrogen Peroxide or sanitizers that contain a drug identification number (DIN). Note: When using chemicals follow manufacturer directions.
  4. Clear Communication
    • Use a large sign or have a person directing traffic at the entrance reminding customers to observe the new rules and regulations put out by the Health Unit.

Thanks to the Municipality of North Grenville for these facts

Read our Open Letter on Sports and Recreation during COVID-19

Click here for a downloadable PDF version of this information.

Sport and physical activity are very important for maintaining and improving our overall health. This Stage 3 of the Province of Ontario’s Framework for Re-opening document provides guidance on returning to sport. Ontario Regulation 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17 also provides more detail.

  • Remember to be COVID-smart at all times.
  • Maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet from people you don’t live with.
  • October 2, 2020 – The Government of Ontario implemented additional measures to keep people safe. These new measures include mandating the use of face coverings/masks in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces. For detailed information, see the menu entitled Mandatory Face Coverings/Masks in Ontario on our Face Coverings/Masks webpage. These new restrictions add to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) Medical Officer of Health Face Covering/Mask Instruction that was renewed on October 1, 2020. Read Dr. Stewart’s review of the Instruction and rationale for extension here. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a face covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Temporary removal of a face covering/mask is allowed when necessary while engaging in an athletic or fitness activity including water-based activities. Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.
  • At recreational sporting events, gathering limits are set at a maximum of 50 people at an indoor venue and a maximum of 100 people at an outdoor venue.

As we interact more, limiting close contact and time spent indoors at public spaces is critical. Be diligent.

Players

  • Face covering/mask must be worn in common areas including change rooms unless exempt.
  • Masks can be removed while playing the sport.
  • Do not share personal items (e.g., water bottle, towel, etc.).
  • Do not spit.
  • Prolonged or deliberate physical contact is prohibited.
  • Players do not count towards gathering limits.
  • Equipment handled by hand or head (e.g., tennis balls, basketballs, soccer balls, etc.) during play should be frequently cleaned.
  • Complete a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment prior to leaving home. Stay home if at least one symptom is present. Get a COVID-19 test completed at a local assessment centre.

Parents/Guardians

  • Screen yourself and your children for COVID-19 symptoms prior to leaving home. Stay home if at least one symptom is present. Get a COVID-19 test completed at a local assessment centre.
  • Face covering/mask must be worn at all times in an indoor facility unless exempt.

Coaches and other Team Staff

  • Take attendance of your team at each game/practice. Ask each player if they completed a COVID-19 symptom screening prior to the game/practice. Mark this on the attendance sheet. In the event of a positive COVID-19 case, accurate attendance sheets are critical to help Public Health in contact tracing and follow-up efforts.
  • Avoid the pre-/post-game handshake. Implement alternative sign of respect for opponents.
  • Teams are not permitted to play against other teams outside of their league or group.
  • Coaches and other team staff do not count towards gathering limits.
  • Face covering/mask must be worn at all times in an indoor facility, unless exempt. Coaches and other team staff should be wearing a face covering/mask while running a practice.

Staff

  • Anyone working at the venue (e.g., referee, time/score keeper, Zamboni driver, canteen staff, maintenance staff, coach, trainer, etc.) does not count towards gathering limits.
  • Have a plan to help people be COVID-smart and ensure the facility is following the mandatory mask Instruction. Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer and post this face covering/mask required poster at all entrances.

Spectators

  • Indoors: maximum of 50 spectators (e.g., family, friends, etc.).
  • Outdoors: maximum of 100 spectators (e.g., family, friends, etc.).
  • Spectators must maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet from people they don’t live with.
  • Verbal cheering and yelling is strongly discouraged at this time as it presents an increased risk of spreading respiratory droplets.

Leagues

  • Maximum of 50 players (e.g., 3 teams of 15 players, 4 teams of 12 players, 5 teams of 10 players, etc.).
  • Teams must not play against teams outside of their league (e.g., traditional tournaments involving teams from several leagues are prohibited).
  • A league can be made up of teams from different areas, but the teams in that league must only play against each other.
  • Amateur and recreational sports leagues may resume so long as they do not allow prolonged or deliberate physical contact between players, or if they have modifications to avoid physical contact between players.
  • Team sports in which body contact between players is either an integral component of the sport or commonly occurs while engaged in the sport (e.g., wrestling, judo, etc.) are not yet permitted, unless the approach can be modified to prevent prolonged or deliberate physical contact.

Recreation Facilities

  • Wherever possible, activities should be re-located to outdoor settings.
  • Indoor facility ventilation system should be operational and appropriate for the activities practiced within. Use the highest efficiency filters possible in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system.
    • Facility operators may want to consult with an expert in HVAC systems for assistance.
  • Designate a staff member to oversee activities to ensure public health guidelines and legislation is followed.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting:
    • Remove loose items (e.g., pens, pamphlets, brochures and other items) that may be touched by multiple people.
    • Commonly touched surfaces such as doors, door handles, light switches, seating including arm rests, and barriers between staff and visitors should be cleaned at least twice per day.
    • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are sufficient at killing COVID-19.
    • Ensure that the disinfectant you use has an 8-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN). Refer to this Health Canada list of disinfectants with evidence of use against COVID-19.
    • Follow manufacturer’s instructions when mixing cleaners or disinfectants.
    • Create and follow a cleaning procedure during each shift at the facility.
    • Clean and disinfect bathrooms as frequently as is necessary to maintain sanitary conditions. Bathrooms should be closely monitored for cleanliness. Depending on frequency of use they may need to be cleaned and disinfected more than once every two hours. Read this fact sheet for more on Cleaning and Disinfecting Bathrooms Used by the Public.
    • Have proper training for employees on how to protect themselves and visitors, and for those who handle cleaners and disinfectants. Have personal protective equipment (PPE), hand washing facilities, and Safety Data Sheets available and bottles or containers properly labeled.
    • For more information, see this Public Health Ontario resource on cleaning and disinfecting in public settings.
      Restrict access to non-essential shared equipment (e.g., vending machine, coffee maker, water fountains and bottle filling stations).
    • Any equipment that is rented to, provided to or provided for the use of users of the facility must be cleaned and disinfected between each use or, where used in a game or practice, at the end of play, such as at the completion of a game or practice.
    • Activities must not be practiced or played within the facility if they require the use of fixed structures that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between each use or, where used in a game or practice, at the end of play.
    • Washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities made available to the public must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • Communicate to all participants about the risk of COVID-19 and the practices that should be taken to mitigate risk.
  • Consideration should be given on how to appropriately include or accommodate vulnerable persons such as older adults, those with disabilities and persons with compromised immune systems.
    • Examples include reducing attendance, offering virtual methods of engagement, and dedicating certain rooms/times for those at greater risk.
  • Consider keeping a record of attendance for all activities and bookings at your facility. In the event of a positive COVID-19 case, accurate attendance sheets are critical to help Public Health in contact tracing and follow-up efforts.
    • Work with groups, associations, clubs and coaches to facilitate this process. 
  • Any person accessing the facility (e.g., staff, volunteers, participants, spectators, etc.) should be directed to perform a COVID-19 self-assessment before arriving at the facility. Any person with a symptom(s) must not enter the facility, should self-isolate and consider getting tested at a local assessment centre.
  • To ensure physical distancing, consider reducing capacity in each room, venue, court, pool or ice surface in the facility.
  • Consider using a booking system that sets out specified activity durations (e.g., 1-hour workout periods, 90-minute ice times).
    • To support cleaning and disinfection efforts, schedule should allow adequate time to thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment and spaces (e.g., washrooms, change rooms, gyms, etc.) between each group/booking.
  • Traffic flow and physical distancing markers should be visible throughout the facility to promote physical distancing.

League Facilitators/Sports Organizations

  • Sport and recreation organizations (e.g., clubs, associations, leagues, and teams) wishing to book facilities should follow facility protocols and guidelines, as well as establish their own publicly available sport or activity-specific guidelines for the safe return to sport/activity.
  • Those participating in organized activities sanctioned by, or affiliated with, a provincial or national sport organization should refer to and ensure they are also complying with their governing body’s guidelines, assuming they meet or exceed provincial requirements.
  • In your communication with parents/guardians/participants, ensure you clearly share guidelines for screening for COVID-19 symptoms prior to arriving at a facility. Any person with a symptom(s) must not enter the facility, should self-isolate and consider getting tested at a local assessment centre.

Additional Resources

*Adapted with permission from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (originally adapted from Alberta Health).

Read our Open Letter on Sports and Recreation during COVID-19

Click here for a downloadable PDF version of this information.

Sport and physical activity are very important for maintaining and improving our overall health. This Stage 3 of the Province of Ontario’s Framework for Re-opening document provides guidance on returning to sport. Ontario Regulation 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17 also provides more detail.

  • Remember to be COVID-smart at all times.
  • Maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet from people you don’t live with.
  • October 2, 2020 – The Government of Ontario implemented additional measures to keep people safe. These new measures include mandating the use of face coverings/masks in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces. For detailed information, see the menu entitled Mandatory Face Coverings/Masks in Ontario on our Face Coverings/Masks webpage. These new restrictions add to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) Medical Officer of Health Face Covering/Mask Instruction that was renewed on October 1, 2020. Read Dr. Stewart’s review of the Instruction and rationale for extension here. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a face covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Temporary removal of a face covering/mask is allowed when necessary while engaging in an athletic or fitness activity including water-based activities. Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.
  • For the purpose of recreation activities, gathering limits at recreation facilities are set at a maximum of 50 people at an indoor venue and 100 people at an outdoor venue.
  • Refer to our COVID-19 & Return to Sport page for more detailed information on sports.

As we interact more, limiting close contact and time spent indoors at public spaces is critical. Be diligent.

Recreation Facilities

  • Examples include gyms, fitness studios, and community centres.
  • Physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet must be maintained at all times.
  • Staff do not count toward gathering limits.
  • A multipurpose facility that can safely accommodate multiple groups of less than 50 people (indoors) or less than 100 people (outdoors), can do so if:
    • Physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet is maintained at all times.
    • Entry and exit points to the different areas of the facility are controlled to avoid close contact between people.
    • There are no shared spaces between the separate areas.
    • Users are not allowed to travel between separate areas.
    • Users arrive shortly before their scheduled sport/recreation time and leave immediately after.
    • Users do not congregate in shared spaces.
    • Sport/recreation activity times are staggered to limit the number of people at a facility at one time.
    • Indoor example:
      • While maintaining physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet at all times, a community centre with 2 ice pads could have a different activity occurring on each pad and up to 50 spectators at each pad.
    • Outdoor example:
      • While maintaining physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet at all times, a venue with 2 soccer fields and 2 baseball diamonds could have an activity occurring on each field/diamond and up to 100 spectators at each field/diamond.
    • Each facility has the ability to choose whether to allow spectators and/or how many they will allow, within the legislated maximums.
  • The total number of people permitted in areas containing weights or exercise machines is limited to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet, and cannot exceed the indoor gathering limit of 50 people or the outdoor limit of 100 people.
  • The total number of people permitted in classes or organized activities at any one time is limited to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet, and cannot exceed the indoor gathering limit of 50 people or the outdoor limit of 100 people.
  • Assigned spaces are strongly recommended for organized fitness classes (e.g., by marking circles on the floor to designate where each person should exercise).
  • Equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between user sets or at the end of a game.
  • Steam rooms and saunas are not yet permitted to open.
  • Wherever possible, activities should be re-located to outdoor settings.
  • Indoor facility ventilation system should be operational and appropriate for the activities practiced within. Use the highest efficiency filters possible in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system.
    • Facility operators may want to consult with an expert in HVAC systems for assistance.
  • Designate a staff member to oversee activities to ensure public health guidelines and legislation is followed.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting:
    • Any washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities made available to the public must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
    • Remove loose items (e.g., pens, pamphlets, brochures and other items) that may be touched by multiple people.
    • Commonly touched surfaces such as doors, door handles, light switches, seating including arm rests, and barriers between staff and visitors should be cleaned at least twice per day.
    • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are sufficient at killing COVID-19.
    • Ensure that the disinfectant you use has an 8-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN). Refer to this Health Canada list of disinfectants with evidence of use against COVID-19.
    • Follow manufacturer’s instructions when mixing cleaners or disinfectants.
    • Create and follow a cleaning procedure during each shift.
    • Clean and disinfect bathrooms as frequently as is necessary to maintain sanitary conditions. Bathrooms should be closely monitored for cleanliness. Depending on frequency of use they may need to be cleaned and disinfected more than once every two hours. Read this fact sheet for more on Cleaning and Disinfecting Bathrooms Used by the Public.
    • Have proper training for employees on how to protect themselves and visitors, and for those who handle cleaners and disinfectants. Have personal protective equipment (PPE), hand washing facilities, and Safety Data Sheets available and bottles or containers properly labeled.
    • For more information, see this Public Health Ontario resource on cleaning and disinfecting in public settings.
    • Restrict access to non-essential shared equipment (e.g., vending machine, coffee maker, water fountains and bottle filling stations).
    • Any equipment that is rented to, provided to or provided for the use of users of the facility must be cleaned and disinfected between each use or, where used in a game or practice, at the end of play, such as at the completion of a game or practice.
    • Activities must not be practiced or played within the facility if they require the use of fixed structures that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between each use or, where used in a game or practice, at the end of play.
    • Washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities made available to the public must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • Communicate to all participants about the risk of COVID-19 and the practices that should be taken to reduce risk of infection.
  • Consideration should be given on how to appropriately include or accommodate vulnerable persons such as older adults, those with disabilities and persons with compromised immune systems.
    • Examples include reducing attendance, offering virtual methods of engagement, and dedicating certain rooms/times for those at greater risk.
  • Consider keeping a record of attendance for all activities and bookings at your facility. In the event of a positive COVID-19 case, accurate attendance sheets are critical to help Public Health in contact tracing and follow-up efforts.
    • Work with groups, associations, clubs and coaches to facilitate this process. 
  • Any person accessing the facility (e.g., staff, volunteers, participants, spectators, etc.) should be directed to perform a COVID-19 self-assessment before arriving at the facility. Any person with a symptom(s) must not enter the facility, should self-isolate and consider getting tested at a local assessment centre.
  • To ensure physical distancing, consider reducing capacity in each room, venue, court, pool or ice surface in the facility.
  • Consider using a booking system that sets out specified activity durations (e.g., 1-hour workout periods, 90-minute ice times).
    • To support cleaning and disinfection efforts, schedule should allow adequate time to thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment and spaces (e.g., washrooms, change rooms, gyms, etc.) between each group/booking.
  • Traffic flow and physical distancing markers should be visible throughout the facility to promote physical distancing.

Personal Training

  • Consider the use of technology for virtual personal training where possible.
  • Advise both clients and trainers to arrive close to their appointment time. Ensure that the waiting area is configured so that people can maintain physical distancing.
  • Limit the number of personal trainers on site at any one time to ensure facility capacity is not exceeded.
  • Ensure trainers and clients refrain from physical contact and adhere to the 2 metre/6 feet physical distancing requirement from each other and other clients and trainers during the session. Trainers and clients can break the 2 metre/6 feet barrier as needed for personal training.
  • As much as possible, personal training sessions should be conducted in a manner that avoids touching clients. Promote and support the use of verbal cues or technology (e.g., using a tablet to show an instructional video) while coaching.
  • Discourage training activities that necessitate close contact with other people (e.g., needing spotters during weight training, sparring in martial arts studios, etc.).
  • For activities involving direct contact, ensure that hand hygiene is practiced using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or hand washing before and after contact. Consider the use of face coverings/masks in these situations and limit the amount of time spent in close contact.

NOTE: Wearing a face covering/mask during high intensity activity is NOT recommended.

Group Classes

  • Group classes should only be offered if physical distancing measures can be maintained. Ensure group classes do not exceed provincial orders related to gatherings (or any specific legislation that applies to fitness or group classes).
  • Consider holding outdoor classes to ensure the 2 metre/6 feet physical distancing requirement is maintained.
  • Allow adequate time to thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment between each class. 
  • Instructors should be assigned and wear microphones to reduce the need for shouting.
    • Instructors should direct participants to avoid singing along to music and avoid having them shout back at them.
  • Consider creating cohorts of classmates by assigning specific times for the same participants to partake in classes.
  • Mitigate the potential for classmates to gather before and after a class within the facility.
  • Ensure group fitness classrooms are well ventilated (e.g., open windows if possible).
    • High-powered fans may result in greater dispersion of respiratory droplets. Consider further reducing class sizes to maintain room temperature at manageable levels without the use of high-powered fans.
  • For classes with significant movement (e.g., dance, fighting), it is recommended the program be altered to limit the need to travel within the room. Consider dancing in a designated area or moving the class outdoors.
    • Dance lessons or couple/partner workouts for people from the same household or social circle can proceed as long as 2 metre/6 feet physical distancing is maintained between couples/partners.
  • Mark a designated exercise area for each client to stay inside of during a workout.
  • Consider removing unused equipment from group fitness rooms to create additional space for clients.
  • For high intensity fitness classes (e.g., spin/cycle class, dance, hot yoga, boot camp, etc.), consider the following:
    • Both operators and participants should proceed with this type of exercise with caution and should take appropriate measures to reduce risk of exposure and transmission.  
    • Reduce the overall number of participants in classes to ensure that physical distancing can be maintained in all directions of each participant.
      • Increase physical distance greater than 2 metres/6 feet and/or install physical barriers between the instructor and participants. 
  • For low intensity fitness classes (e.g.. yoga, pilates, stretching, etc.), consider the following:
    • Participants should be encouraged to bring their own equipment (e.g., mats, blocks).
    • If equipment is shared, it should be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly between users.
    • Where fitness activities involve participants in close proximity to the floor, the floor should be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly between each class.
    • Participants should be arranged to maintain at least 2 metres/6 feet distance between each other at all times.

Weight Rooms

  • Space weight machines at least 2 metres/6 feet apart.
  • Consider greater distances (3 metres) between aerobic fitness equipment where high exertion is common (e.g., treadmills, rowing machines, stationary bikes, etc.).
  • Designate areas for the use of certain equipment (e.g., stretching areas, kettle bell areas) and for movement (e.g., heavy rope, tire flipping zone) to ensure distancing is maintained.
  • Consider using markers on the floor to define designated areas and manage flow of participants.
  • If equipment cannot be moved, and positioning will result in participants being within a 2 metre/6 feet distance, consider blocking off every other piece of equipment that cannot be properly distanced or erecting barriers such as plexiglass between equipment.
  • Where spotting is necessary for heavy weightlifting, participants may form small cohorts to limit direct contact with others.

Indoor Tracks

  • Width of track (and lanes) should be considered for physical distancing. Consider limiting the use of every second lane.
  • It is suggested that runners and walkers travel in the same direction on the track.
  • Encourage outdoor walking and running wherever possible.

Tennis, Pickle-ball, Squash and Other Racquet Courts

  • Where not playing with family members, participants should play within a cohort/mini league.
  • Encourage participants to bring their own clean equipment when possible.
    • Where equipment is rented, operators should clean and disinfect thoroughly between users.

Gymnastics and Rock Climbing

  • Establish appointments and designate climbing times to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
  • Users should be asked to thoroughly wash their hands before and after using shared equipment (e.g., climbing holds, beams, rings).
  • Many surfaces in these settings cannot be effectively sanitized. Facilities may consider modifying training to limit the number of surfaces handled by participants.
    • Encourage users to clean hands immediately before and after use.
  • Remove any self-serve chalk bowls and require participants to bring their own chalk.
  • Remove mats and other equipment that is torn or in disrepair as these items cannot be effectively sanitized.
  • If gear or equipment rental is permitted, ensure it is cleaned and disinfected thoroughly between users.
  • Enhance the frequency of cleaning of handholds, rings, bars and other frequently handled surfaces.

Multi-use Gymnasiums, Fieldhouses and Community Centres

  • If different activities are conducted in the gymnasium setting, cohort groups should be kept separate. Physical barriers (e.g., curtains) are recommended if possible.
    • Participants of different activities should not mix with other activity participants.
  • Organized court sports (e.g., volleyball, basketball, badminton, pickle ball) may occur. Refer to our Return to Sport tab for more detailed information.
  • Players should follow marked one-way traffic patterns when entering and exiting the gymnasium.
  • Gymnasium floors should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at an enhanced frequency.

Martial Arts, Mixed Martial Arts, Wrestling, Boxing

  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports is not permitted.
  • Team or individual sports in which body contact between players is either an integral component of the sport or commonly occurs while engaged in the sport (e.g., wrestling, judo) are not yet permitted, unless the approach can be modified to prevent prolonged or deliberate physical contact.

Pool and Aquatic Activities (Swimming)

  • Access to high contact aquatic features (e.g., slides, climbing structures, etc.) is prohibited.
  • Change rooms and showers will be available to the public if operators can adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities.
  • Persons in the facility shall maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet from each other at all times by:
    • Reducing resting areas and pool capacity.
    • Limiting and distancing pool-side seating.
    • Timed entry (e.g. appointment only).
  • Equipment rented or loaned must be disinfected or quarantined appropriately between users.
  • Aquatic activities such as fitness classes and swim lessons must be in line with physical distancing measures. For example, only other household members can assist swimmers with physical contact.

*Adapted with permission from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (originally adapted from Alberta Health).

Click here for a downloadable PDF version of this information.

This Stage 3 of the Province of Ontario’s Framework for Re-opening document provides guidance on returning to live shows, performing arts and movie theatres. Ontario Regulation 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17 also provides more detail.

  • October 2, 2020 – The Government of Ontario implemented additional measures to keep people safe. These new measures include mandating the use of face coverings/masks in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces. For detailed information, see the menu entitled Mandatory Face Coverings/Masks in Ontario on our Face Coverings/Masks webpage. These new restrictions add to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) Medical Officer of Health Face Covering/Mask Instruction that was renewed on October 1, 2020. Read Dr. Stewart’s review of the Instruction and rationale for extension here. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a face covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.
  • Remember to be COVID-smart at all times.
  • At cinemas and staffed businesses and facilities for performing arts, gathering limits are set at a maximum of 50 people at an indoor venue and a maximum of 100 people at an outdoor venue. Performers and staff are not included in the gathering limits.
  • Maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet from people outside your household or social circle.

As we interact more, limiting close contact and time spent indoors at public spaces is critical. Be diligent.

Concerts, artistic events, theatrical productions, performances, and movie theatres may resume operations, including rehearsals, with the following measures:

General

  • All staff, performers, and spectators should complete a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment prior to leaving home. Stay home if at least one symptom is present. Get a COVID-19 test completed at a local assessment centre.
  • Provide staff and performers with proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Refer to the section below entitled For Employers for general tips on keeping your premises safe, including cleaning and disinfecting guidance.
  • Verbal cheering and yelling by spectators is strongly discouraged at this time as it presents an increased risk of spreading respiratory droplets.
  • Indoor facility ventilation system should be operational and appropriate for the activities practiced within. Use the highest efficiency filters possible in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system.
    • Facility operators may want to consult with an expert in HVAC systems for assistance.
  • Designate a staff member to oversee activities to ensure public health guidelines and legislation is followed.
  • Consider keeping a record of attendance for all activities and bookings at your facility. In the event of a positive COVID-19 case, accurate attendance sheets are critical to help Public Health in contact tracing and follow-up efforts.
  • Adjustments to audience areas and movement patterns at performance venues must be clearly communicated to the public.
  • Consider suspending coat check services, to avoid queuing and the unnecessary handling of personal objects.
  • Consider as many touchless options for spectators as possible including print-at-home tickets, ticket scanners at entry points, and protected areas for box office personnel.

Cinemas/Movie Theatres

  • While maintaining at least 2 metres/6 feet physical distancing, indoor cinemas/movie theatres may allow a maximum of 50 people at one time.
  • While maintaining at least 2 metres/6 feet physical distancing, outdoor cinemas/movie theatres may allow a maximum of 100 people at one time.
  • The gathering limits do not apply to drive-in and drive-through cinemas/movie theatres.
  • Guidance for movie theatres during COVID-19: In accordance with O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH) has approved a plan for the operation of cinemas, such that the capacity limits set out above apply on a per auditorium basis.

Performing Arts

  • A business or place where concerts, artistic events, theatrical performances or other performance are rehearsed or performed may open if they comply with the following conditions:
    • While maintaining at least 2 metres/6 feet physical distancing, indoor venues may allow a maximum of 50 spectators at one time.
    • While maintaining at least 2 metres/6 feet physical distancing, outdoor venues may allow a maximum of 100 spectators at one time.
    • Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
    • All performers and other staff must maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet from every other person, except if it is necessary for purposes of the performance, where necessary for facilitating the purchase of admission, food or beverages, or where necessary for the purposes of health and safety.

Drive-in or Drive-through Cinemas/Movie Theatres, Performances, etc.

  • Drive in cinemas/movie theatres and venues that provide drive-in or drive-through concerts, artistic events, theatrical performances or other performances may be open if they comply with the following conditions:
    • Spectators must remain in their vehicle at all times, except to buy admission, food or beverages, to use a washroom, or for the purposes of health and safety.
    • Every motor vehicle must be positioned at least 2 metres/6 feet from other motor vehicles.
    • All performers and other staff must maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet from every other person, except if it is necessary for purposes of the performance, where necessary for facilitating the purchase of admission, food or beverages, and where necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
    • Food and beverages may only be sold to spectators if the products are sold at a concession stand that maintains physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet between people while in line and requires spectators to immediately return to their vehicle after being served or the products are served directly to a spectator’s vehicle.
    • Spectators must not exchange any items with other spectators.

October 2, 2020 – The Government of Ontario implemented additional measures to keep people safe. These new measures include mandating the use of face coverings/masks in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces. For detailed information, see the menu entitled Mandatory Face Coverings/Masks in Ontario on our Face Coverings/Masks webpage. These new restrictions add to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) Medical Officer of Health Face Covering/Mask Instruction that was renewed on October 1, 2020. Read Dr. Stewart’s review of the Instruction and rationale for extension here. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a face covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.

The following rules apply to tour and guide services during Stage 3:

  • For tour and guide services, including boat tours, the number of patrons is subject to gathering limits.
  • Physical distancing of at least two metres must be maintained between all individuals except for those from the same household or social circle.
  • The outdoor gathering limit of 100 applies if patrons will be outside for the duration of the tour except to access washrooms, in transit to an outdoor area, or for health and safety reasons.
  • As with other gatherings and events, the indoor gathering limit of 50 applies if the gathering is fully or partially indoors.
  • To support the contact tracing done by public health, boat tour services must:
    • Record the name and contact information of at least one member of every party of patrons that participates in the tour.
    • Maintain the records for a period of at least one month.
    • Only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Amusement parks and water parks
  • Buffet-style food services
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements
  • Overnight stays at camps for children
  • Private karaoke rooms
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars

COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Businesses and Workplaces

Protecting Staff and Visitors

Most effective to least effective recommended COVID-19 business practices pyramid

As businesses re-open, it is essential for business owners to conduct a risk assessment and to apply a combination of infection prevention and control practices as appropriate for your workplace. The Province of Ontario provides guidance on how to develop your COVID-19 workplace safety plan. There are several practices that can be put in place to ensure a safer workplace environment that protects and prevents against infection. It is important to remember that some practices are more effective than others, as depicted in the hierarchy of controls below. From most effective to least effective, the recommended practices are:

  • Limit in person contact (e.g., work from home, use virtual services) 
  • Change the Physical Environment (e.g., barriers, physical distancing markers in lineups, hand hygiene stations)
  • Introduce Administrative Protocols (e.g., screening, policies, staff training and education)
  • Use Personal Protective Equipment (e.g., gloves, masks)

On this page, you will find COVID-19 resources for employers, employees, and members of the public accessing businesses.

Important Resources

  • For local information on who to call if you have a concern or complaint see the COVID-19 Response Chart.
  • For more information and resources on COVID-19 visit https://healthunit.org/coronavirus/. Visit the website of your local municipality for information on municipal services and resources during COVID-19.

For Employers

Access sector specific guidelines and posters from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development: Provincial Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace. The Health Unit has also developed Best Practices for COVID-19 Prevention Checklist for Stores.

Below are best practice guidelines for COVID-19 prevention in your business:

As we navigate the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical for workplaces to have plans in place to protect their employees and customers from COVID-19. New direction from the province requires employers to screen all workers or essential visitors prior to entering the work environment. See this Notice to Workplaces regarding Screening Workers and Essential Visitors for COVID-19 Symptoms for more information.

  • Consider which employees can work from home.
  • Consider an online meeting platform to meet with customers or colleagues.
  • Establish and/or maintain online or telephone ordering services.
  • Refer to this fact sheet from the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario for information on how staff working from home can maintain privacy, security, and access to information in their work.
  • Use appointments to limit the number of people in one place.
  • Monitor the number of people in your premises, consider half or reduced capacity.
  • Monitor customers while in the business to ensure they keep their distance. Use signs, marks on the floor, staff directing traffic flow, and your PA system.
  • Use clear barriers to protect workers where possible. See supply list for plexiglass in Leeds and Grenville.
  • As of July 7, 2020 at 12:01am, businesses/organizations in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark are required to adopt a policy to ensure facial coverings/masks are worn inside enclosed public spaces/settings that are openly accessible to the public. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a facial covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Please refer to our Face Coverings/Masks webpage for detailed information. Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.
  • If you use vehicles as part of your business consider one person per vehicle or one employee in the front seat and another employee in the back seat.
  • Stagger employee work schedules and breaks.
  • Set up the break and lunch rooms so people can stay 2 metres/6 feet away from each other.
  • Consider the flow of your business. Customers should be directed one way throughout your place of business.
  • If possible, have a separate Entrance and Exit door to avoid customer congestion.
  • Reduce the amount of money being exchanged. Encourage debit, credit or e-transfers.
  • Maintain curbside and delivery services as part of your normal business.
  • Retailers should restrict the number of customers per square metre – for example, one customer per 4 square metres (43 square feet) – this allows for physical distancing of 2 metres at all times.

NOTE: As of July 7, 2020 at 12:01am, businesses/organizations in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark are required to adopt a policy to ensure facial coverings/masks are worn inside enclosed public spaces/settings that are openly accessible to the public. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a facial covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Please refer to our Face Coverings/Masks webpage for detailed information. Use this poster in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.

  • Remove loose items such as condiments, stir sticks, pens, straws, pamphlets, brochures and other items that may be touched by multiple people.
  • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are sufficient at killing COVID-19.
  • Ensure that the disinfectant has an 8 digit Drug Identification Number (DIN). List of disinfectants with evidence of use against COVID-19.
  • Commonly touched areas such as doors, door handles, light switches, seating including arm rests, barriers between customers and employees, debit machines, shopping carts etc. should be cleaned at least twice a day.
  • Washrooms are cleaned and disinfected at least every two hours.
  • Washrooms that are open to the public should be closely monitored for cleanliness. Depending on frequency of use they may need to be cleaned and disinfected more than once every two hours. 
  • Read this fact sheet for more on Cleaning and Disinfecting Bathrooms Used by the Public as well as our Frequently Asked Question and Answers document.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions when mixing cleaners or disinfectants.
  • Have proper training for employees to handle cleaners and disinfectants and have Safety Data sheets available and bottles or containers properly labeled.
  • For more, see this Public Health Ontario resource on cleaning and disinfecting in public settings.
  • Implement a formal screening process for COVID-19. Use the Ontario self-assessment tool.
  • Implement a human resource policy that outlines clear instructions for staff on actions to take if they, or a visitor, screen positive or negative on the assessment tool.
  • Contact public health for consultation on policy development, and for advice on what to do if there has been a potential exposure in your workplace.
  • Train and educate employees on workplace infection prevention and control measures (e.g., on proper use of PPE, hand hygiene, physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting practices). Use the videos, posters, and fact sheets on this webpage to support this training.
  • Support the mental and emotional health of your employees: CMHA’s 6 Tips to Respond to Employee Anxiety about COVID-19.
  • Consider recording each patron’s name and contact information to support the contact tracing done by public health in the case of a patron or staff member testing positive for COVID-19
  • Encourage your employees’ overall health. Refer to our Coping, Helping & Mental Wellness page for resources.
  • If ever there was a system that relied on multiple parts and complex processes it is the human immune system. Its job is to protect us against disease by fighting infection. It needs at least 11 different vitamins and minerals as well as protein, carbohydrates and some fat to build it and keep it going. Provide everyone the space and time they need to eat meals. Check out our Healthy Eating section for more information on healthy eating at the workplace. Keep in mind that some of your employees maybe be challenged with food insecurity.

Supporting Employees to Return to Work

As businesses start to re-open, some employees may feel stress and anxiety with re-integrating into a modified workplace as well as the possibility of exposing themselves and/or their families to COVID-19. The Canadian Mental Health Association has outlined a number of ways in which employers can support employees’ return to work during these difficult times. Here are a few tips:

  • Have a Plan: Let employees know that you have conducted a risk assessment unique to your workplace and have developed a workplace safety plan that complies with public health recommendations and requirements. Engage interested and appropriate employees in the monitoring and evaluation of your plan, and be open to revisions based on feedback and/or as new information emerges.
  • Communicate: Fear and anxiety can grow in the absence of up-to-date and accurate information. Reassure employees that you are looking ahead, staying well informed on the current status of COVID-19 in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark and that you are seeking out credible sources of information. Let your employees know that they can expect regular updates from you and that you will seek answers to any questions they may have.
  • Acknowledge the ‘New Normal’: Share that you know these times are stressful and that it is okay to be anxious. Acknowledge that this is not quite ‘business as usual’ and that there may be long term changes to the way your business operates. Reassure staff that expectations will shift accordingly and you are there to support them in this new work environment.
  • Support Mental Health: Encourage employees to practice self-care and reassure them that it is ok to take steps to manage stress (e.g. relaxation exercises, listening to music, taking regular breaks). Ensure employees are aware of workplace tools to support their transition back to work (e.g. EAP), and direct employees to local coping, helping and mental wellness resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Your employee may have been advised to self-isolate at home while waiting for test results. If your employee has received public health advice to self-isolate, they should NOT be going into work.
  • Individuals who have had close contact with this employee may need to take additional precautions; they will be contacted by public health.
  • In your workplace continue to practice physical distancing and use resources on cleaning and disinfecting public settings and public washrooms.
  • For local information on who to call if you have a concern or complaint see the COVID-19 Response Chart.
  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 are directed to self-isolate. Public Health will be in contact with individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts daily to provide education and guidance on their self-isolation period, and when it can be discontinued.
  • Individuals who have had close contact with this employee may need to take additional precautions; they will be contacted by public health.
  • Use resources on the For Employers page that help to facilitate physical distancing, as well as cleaning and disinfecting public settings and public washrooms.
  • If you receive questions from your employees, direct them to the For Employees section on this page.
  • For local information on who to call if you have a concern or complaint see the COVID-19 Response Chart.
  • Individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by public health.
  • They will receive education and instruction from public health on self-monitoring and/or self-isolation. If your employee has received public health advice to self-isolate, they should NOT be going into work.
  • For local information on who to call if you have a concern or complaint see the COVID-19 Response Chart.
  • Public Health will be in contact with your business and will work with you to conduct a risk assessment. Recommendations will be made in support of workplace health and safety.
  • An individual who tests positive will be directed to self-isolate. They should NOT be accessing public spaces or stores.
  • Public Health will be in contact with individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and the people they have been in close contact with on a daily basis to provide education and guidance on their self-isolation period, and when it can be discontinued.
  • Use resources on the For Employers page that help to inform cleaning and disinfecting of public settings and public washrooms.
  • For local information on who to call if you have a concern or complaint see the COVID-19 Response Chart.

As per the Public Health Instruction, “Every Operator of an Enclosed Public Space shall adopt a policy to ensure that no member of the public is permitted to enter or remain in the public areas of the Enclosed Public Space unless he or she is wearing a Face Covering/Mask in a manner that securely covers their nose, mouth and chin.”

In the event that a person enters your business premises without a face covering/mask, you can kindly remind the person that they must wear a face covering/mask in your business premises, and then there are 3 scenarios that could occur:

  1. The person puts on a face covering/mask and can enter your business premises.
  2. The person indicates they qualify for an exemption as per the Public Health Instruction. Kindly allow the person to enter your business premises without a face covering/mask. Do not ask any follow-up questions. No person shall be required to provide proof of any of the exemptions.
  3. The person indicates they do not qualify for an exemption as per the Public Health Instruction and refuses to put on a face covering/mask. Remind the person to bring a face covering/mask the next time they come as this is now required. Some businesses provide masks for sale for this kind of situation.

We are all in the fight against COVID-19 together. It is so important that we all protect each other’s health and do everything we can to ensure our local businesses can continue to operate safely for everyone.

We kindly ask that everyone acts in good faith regarding the mandatory face covering/mask Instruction. Wearing a face covering/mask in Enclosed Public Spaces is an important tool, in addition to staying home when sick and getting tested, maintaining at least 2 metres/6 feet physical distancing, washing your hands thoroughly and frequently, covering your coughs and sneezes, and avoiding touching your face, in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

Regardless of whether someone is wearing a face covering/mask or not, please treat everyone with respect and courtesy. For more information, please read the Rationale for the mandatory face covering/mask decision.

The Public Health Instruction is requiring Operators to do the following:

  • Post signage in your premises to advise the public of face covering/mask requirements.
  • Have alcohol-based hand sanitizer available for use at all entrances and exits.
  • Remind customers of the mandatory face covering/mask requirement. As per the Instruction, implementation of the policy should be enacted and enforced in ‘good faith’ and should be primarily used as a means to educate people on face covering/mask use in Enclosed Public Spaces.

We are not asking Operators to refuse or confront customers.

For Employees

  • Do not enter your workplace.
  • Stay at home.
  • Self-isolate at home when sick with any symptoms described on the provincial COVID-19 Assessment Tool and visit a local Assessment Centre.
  • While you are waiting for your test results, your household contacts should be self-monitoring for symptoms. If the test is positive for COVID-19 then follow public health advice and continue to self-isolate for 14 days and until symptoms are resolving.
  • Talk to your employer about work from home options.
  • Complete the COVID-19 screening checklist before going to work.
  • Follow your workplace screening policies.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands.
  • Bring only what you need into the building and make sure these items are clean.
  • As of July 7, 2020 at 12:01am, businesses/organizations in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark are required to adopt a policy to ensure facial coverings/masks are worn inside enclosed public spaces/settings that are openly accessible to the public. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a facial covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Please refer to our Face Coverings/Masks webpage for detailed information.
  • If you become sick while at work, notify your supervisor and leave immediately.
  • Adhere to all the infection prevention and control measures in the workplace:
    • Wash or sanitize your hands often.
    • Sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Stay 2 metres (6 feet) from others.
    • As of July 7, 2020 at 12:01am, businesses/organizations in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark are required to adopt a policy to ensure face coverings/masks are worn inside enclosed public spaces/settings that are openly accessible to the public. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a face covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Please refer to our Face Coverings/Masks webpage for detailed information.
    • Keep work surfaces clean and disinfected.
    • If you become sick while at work, self-isolate and notify your employer.
  • Employees who have questions or concerns regarding safety in the workplace can contact the Ontario Health and Safety Call Centre at 1-800-202-0008.
  • For additional local information on who to call if you have a concern or complaint see the COVID-19 Response Chart.
  • Access sector specific guidelines and posters from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development: Provincial Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace.

For the Public Accessing Businesses

  • Complete the screening checklist before going out by using the provincial COVID-19 Assessment Tool.
  • As of July 7, 2020 at 12:01am, businesses/organizations in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark are required to adopt a policy to ensure facial coverings/masks are worn inside enclosed public spaces/settings that are openly accessible to the public. To access an enclosed public space, individuals must wear a facial covering/mask (some exceptions apply). Please refer to our Face Coverings/Masks webpage for detailed information.
  • When sick, stay home and away from stores and other businesses.
  • Visit a local Assessment Centre if you have at least one symptom on the screening checklist, if you are concerned you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you feel you are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through your employment (e.g., health care workers, grocery store employees, food processing plant employees).
  • Refer to our COVID-19 & Activities: Know the Risks poster for help on deciding what activities are right for you.

As per the Public Health Instruction, a business Operator shall not refuse any person entry into their business premises if the person claims they qualify for an exemption, as per the Public Health Instruction, including those who are accommodated under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) or who have protections under the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.19, as amended.

No person shall be required to provide proof of any of the exemptions.

At this time, Operators are encouraged to use an educational approach to encourage all people entering to use a face covering/mask. 

As per the Trespass to Property Act, an Operator can refuse entry and/or service. If they do so in violation of other legislation, including but not limited to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) or the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.19, as amended, there may be consequences (e.g., a violation of human rights claim).

*NOTE: Businesses are complying with this instruction to protect the health of their customers, staff and our community. Finding ways to work together so we can all get through this difficult time is important. If you feel you are being denied service, reach out to the business to see if there are alternative ways to interact (e.g., curbside pick-up).