News of enhanced public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario may have some residents wondering what is, and what isn’t, considered essential under the provincial government’s new regulations.
We've compiled a list of activities that are allowed and businesses that will remain open after the province’s stay-at-home order goes into effect on Jan. 14 .
Can I go to my cottage or secondary residence?
No. The government says that because it is asking residents to stay home, trips to a cottage or secondary residence should be avoided, unless it is for an essential purpose like emergency maintenance.
I booked a short-term rental getaway. Can I still go?
No. The province says that pre-arranged bookings for short-term rentals at hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, cottages, resorts are prohibited, with exceptions for housing requirements.
Are ski hills closed?
Yes. Ski hills are closed.
Is a housekeeper still allowed in my home?
Yes. Domestic services like housekeeping, cooking, indoor and outdoor cleaning and maintenance services are allowed but only to support children, seniors and vulnerable persons.
What about real estate showings?
Real estate showings, including pre-sale construction, are only available by appointment. Open houses are prohibited.
Are restaurants still open for takeout and delivery?
Restaurants and bars aren’t affected by the new rules and can remain open for take out, drive-thru, and delivery only.
Can I get my car serviced or buy
a new vehicle?
According to the government, vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services are available by appointment only. The same applies to the sale of all motor vehicles.
Can I still attend my in-person driving instruction?
No. In-person driving instruction is not permitted, except for instruction for drivers of commercial motor vehicles.
Can I go outside for a walk or go skating at a public rink?
Going outside for exercise is permitted, including walking your dog, running and ice skating at a public rink. However, the government says it prefers if residents would remain home.
I live alone. Can I visit my family?
A representative for the government says that if you live alone, you can go spend time with another family, but they prefer you stay home.
Are cannabis dispensaries still open?
Yes. Cannabis dispensaries are open for curbside pick-up or delivery only, but only from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. As well, an item can only be provided for curbside pickup if the patron ordered the item before arriving at the business premises.
What about alcohol sales?
You can still purchase alcohol at a licensed retailer, but only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
When do the measures end?
The measures announced Tuesday are scheduled to be in place until at least Feb. 11.
How will the government know who is out for legitimate
reasons and who isn't?
The province said that residents will have a duty to identify themselves when a police officer has "reasonable and probable grounds" that there has been a breach of the orders made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
A sector-specific breakdown of the province's new public health measures can be found here.