Rules and Restrictions for Red Zone Regions Under Ontario’s New Colour-Coded COVID-19 Framework

Ontario government rolled out a new colour-coded system on Tuesday, November 3rd to mitigate the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the province.

On November 16th, Ontario lowered the thresholds for imposing stricter COVID-19 measures under its colour-coded framework in light of new projections that showed the province is on track to see 6,500 new daily COVID-19 cases by the middle of next month.

**Updated on Feb 19th**

The Ontario regions under the Red or Control (stringent measures) zone and the rules and restrictions are listed below:

Ontario Health Regions in the Red Zone

 

From Feb 16th:

  • Chatham-Kent Public Health;
  • City of Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Durham Region Health Department;
  • Halton Region Public Health;
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit;
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services;
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit;
  • Southwestern Public Health;
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit;
  • Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public Health;
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

From Feb 22nd:

  • Chatham-Kent Public Health;
  • City of Hamilton Public Health Services;
  • Durham Region Health Department;
  • Halton Region Public Health;
  • Lambton Public Health (moved from orange zone)
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit;
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services;
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit;
  • Southwestern Public Health;
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit;
  • Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public Health;
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
  • York Region Public Health (Stay at home order lifted)

Rules and Restrictions for Regions in the Red Zone

 

General public health measures (gatherings, workplace requirements and face coverings)

  • Gathering limit for all organized public events and social gatherings:
    • 5 people indoors
    • 25 people outdoors
  • Religious services, weddings and funerals:
    • 30% capacity indoors
    • 100 people outdoors
  • Requirement for workplace screening
  • Face coverings required in:
  • Where patrons without face coverings are within two metres of workers, workers must use additional protections such as eye protection
  • Workplaces must develop and implement a communication/public education plan (highlighting risk)
  • Physical distancing must be maintained
  • Non-essential travel from areas of high-transmission to areas of low transmission should be avoided

Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments

  • Maximum number of patrons permitted to be seated indoors is 10
  • Require patrons to be seated; 2 metre minimum between tables
  • Outdoor dining, take out, drive through, and delivery permitted
  • Dancing, singing and the live performance of brass or wind instruments are prohibited
  • Require patron contact info (one per party)
  • No buffet style service
  • Night clubs only permitted to operate as restaurant or bar
  • Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metres distance and face covering required
  • Face coverings except when eating or drinking only
  • Eye protection where patrons without face coverings are within 2 metres of workers
  • Limit operating hours, establishments close at 10 p.m.
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information for all seated patrons
  • Limit of 4 people may be seated together
  • Limit volume of music (to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
  • Require screening of patrons (for example, questionnaire)
  • Closure of strip clubs
  • A safety plan must be available upon request

Sports and recreational fitness facilities

  • Gyms and fitness studios permitted to be open with maximum of:
    • 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors in classes; and
    • 10 people indoors in areas with weights or exercise equipment
  • No spectators permitted (exemption for parent and guardian supervision of children)
  • Increase spacing between patrons to 3 metres for areas of a sport or recreational facility where there are weights or exercise equipment and in exercise and fitness classes
  • Team sports must not be practiced or played except for training (no games or scrimmage)
  • Activities that are likely to result in individuals coming within 2 metres of each other are not permitted; no contact permitted for team or individual sports, with an exemption for high performance, including parasport, athletes.
  • Patrons may only be in the facility for 90 minutes except if engaging in a sport
  • Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible; measures to prevent shouting by both instructors and members of the public
  • Face coverings required except when exercising
  • Require contact information for all members of the public that enter the facility
  • Require reservation for entry; one reservation for teams
  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Meeting and event spaces

  • Maximum of 10 people per facility indoors or 25 outdoors
  • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information for all seated patrons
  • Limit of 4 people may be seated together
  • Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible
  • Screening of patrons is required, in accordance with instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • A safety plan is required to be prepared and made available upon request

Retail

 
  • Capacity limits of: 75% for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies
  • 50% for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres
  • Stores must post capacity limit publicly
  • Stores must have passive screening for patrons (for example, posting signs outside the store front about not entering if you have COVID-19covid 19 symptoms)This does not apply to indoor malls, which will have to do screening in accordance with instructions by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • Fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls
  • Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metre distance and face covering required
  • Limit volume of music (to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
  • Consider limiting capacity in retail stores and in shopping malls during winter holiday season
  • For malls:
    • Stores within the malls subject to appropriate retail measures
    • Maximum 10 patrons permitted to be seated indoors in mall food court
    • Require screening of patrons at mall entrances (for example, questionnaire)
    • a safety plan must be available upon request

Personal care services

  • Oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools, bath houses, other adult venues, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods closed (some exceptions)
  • Services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited
  • Change rooms and showers closed
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Require screening of patrons (for example, questionnaire)
  • A safety plan must be available upon request

Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments

  • Limits:
    • 10 people per facility indoors
    • 25 people outdoors
  • Table games are prohibited
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Require screening of patrons (for example, questionnaire)
  • A safety plan must be available upon request

Cinemas

  • Closed, except for:
    • drive-in cinemas
    • rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event
  • Limit of 50 people per facility (revoke OCMOH approved plan)
  • Face coverings except when eating or drinking only
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Require screening of patrons (for example, questionnaire)
  • Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or other impermeable barrier

Performing arts facilities

  • Closed to spectators
  • Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event permitted
  • Performers and employees must maintain 2 metre physical distance except for purposes of the performance
  • Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or other impermeable barrier
  • Drive-in performances permitted
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Require screening of patrons (for example, questionnaire)
  • A safety plan must be available upon request

For more information, see Ontario.ca

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  • 22 Comments

    Page 2 of 2 12
    1. Amy

      Would love to hear guidelines for hotels. And would like more clarification. If I live in a family of 5 and haven’t been out of the house for weeks my young children have been doing school virtually. We are not able to have anybody over. Say my mother and sister both who have basically only been out for essential s But my neighbour a single woman could have 4 single friends from 4 different homes over?

      December 19, 2020 at 4:45 PM
    2. Jacqueline Anderson

      Does code red mean that 5 guests are allowed indoors in addition to existing family?

      December 19, 2020 at 6:03 PM
    3. julie moffatt

      so covid dosnt exist between 9am and 9pm in bars? come on make some sense!!!!!!!!!! so annoying

      February 9, 2021 at 6:20 PM
    4. m

      So restaurant and bar capacity is 10 indoor? wtf . If one place has a capacity of 300 and another has a capaticy of 20 and they both can have 10 , so the larger is only aloud 3.33 % of capacity but the other is allowed 50% capacity. does this make sense????

      February 16, 2021 at 4:27 PM
    5. G

      PEOPLE – Read the guidelines! Nowhere does it say “guests” under social gatherings it states “people” so yes it includes everyone in the room, whether they live there or not. So if you have 5 or more in your family – you cannot have other people for dinner or birthday parties. And it is the number of people together not where they come from Amy. Julie – NO COVID DOES NOT HAVE A WATCH Duh! It has to do with allowing the businesses to open, but shortening the time in the evening for them to be open. It is all about numbers – bars are restricted to how many can be inside and with strict rules – no loud music, numbers at a table, no going between tables, we all know at 1 am in the morning after a night of drinking people are not thinking – thus allow drinking until an earlier hour to cut down on bad choices. And “M” as stated before – it as about numbers. and that number is 10 indoors regardless of the size of the venue. as it is not just when they are indoors eating or drinking – it is coming and going, washroom traffic – etc.

      February 17, 2021 at 10:58 PM
    6. Barbara Outhouse

      What happens if you have 5 kids?? Are you supposed to kick 2 out when the parents come home?? This is getting ridiculous.

      February 19, 2021 at 3:15 PM
    7. Sue

      I am disgusted that York Region is being allowed to enter the red zone while Toronto and Peel remain in lockdown. Did we not learn anything from what happened back in December?Do you not remember what happened to the number of cases in York Region when everyone from Toronto and Peel decided to shop here? Our government has let us all down once again. We are heading for trouble and there is nothing we can do to stop it but stay home people. Do the right thing.Take your lives and the lives of the people you love into your own hands.

      February 19, 2021 at 5:33 PM

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