Stay-at-home order lifted provincewide: What’s allowed now?

By Lucas Casaletto

The provincial stay-at-home order, declared as the third wave of COVID-19 infections threatened to overhwhelm hospitals, has now ended.

It is now okay for residents to leave the house for non-essential reasons but there still isn’t anywhere to go.

As the province looks ahead to Step 1 of its reopening plan tentatively slated for June 14, the Ford government announced Tuesday that the stay-at-home order would be lifted on Wednesday.

“We’ve seen great progress in our fight against COVID-19 in recent weeks, but now is not the time to let our guard down,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones in a statement.

“With the stay-at-home order set to expire, we need to provide people with certainty so that they can continue to follow public health guidance. Doing so will help us to meet our goal of starting to gradually lift some restrictions when we enter Step One of the Roadmap when it is safe to do so.”

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The stay-at-home order required Ontarians to remain at home except for the purposes set out in the order, such as exercise, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, or accessing health care services.

These restrictions are no longer in effect. The government is still urging people to be safe and continue to get vaccinated in the days and weeks ahead.

The government declared a provincial state of emergency and issued the order on April 7.

What’s allowed with the stay-at-home order lifted: 


  • Indoor gatherings limited to households only and outdoor gatherings to up to 5 people


  • A cap of 25 percent capacity for essential retail where only certain goods are permitted to be sold


  • Restricting non-essential retail to curbside pickup and delivery only


  • Restaurants only open for takeout and delivery


  • Personal care services stay closed


  • Sports and recreational facilities closed for indoor use except for high-performance athletes, child care, mental health and addiction support services, social services, and physical therapy (subject to conditions)


  • Personal fitness is closed – no indoor or outdoor sports or recreational classes at any indoor or outdoor sport and recreational facilities


  • Limiting short-term rentals to individuals in need of housing


  • Allowing Ontario Parks and campgrounds on public lands to be used for day-use only (subject to limited exceptions)


  • Ontarians will be able to leave home to travel within the province to a secondary residence but are not be permitted to host members of another household indoors except for a person from another household who lives alone or a caregiver.

Ontario’s reopening plan was revealed on May 20 when it announced that certain outdoor and recreational amenities would be allowed to resume.

The province anticipates entering Step 1 of its roadmap by June 14 and each stage will be in place for at least 21 days.

If 60 percent of adults have one dose of a vaccine by that date, larger outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed, as well as outdoor dining for up to four people per table.

Essential retail will be capped at 25 percent with non-essential retail maxed at 15 percent.

Day camps, campsites and campgrounds – including Ontario Parks and outdoor sports of up to 10 people – will also be allowed.

It’s also possible that the Ford government will opt to keep schools closed until next fall in an effort to reopen the economy ahead of schedule.

680 NEWS learned Tuesday that the province is leaning towards keeping schools closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the school year, although no final decision has been made.

Ford is expected to meet with his cabinet on Wednesday and it remains unlikely a decision comes before then.

Recent COVID-19 modelling pointed to a “good summer” if public health measures stay in place and daily vaccinations continue above the 100,000 daily thresholds.

Ontario reported a significant decrease in new infections on Tuesday, with 699 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and nine deaths from the virus.

The data is based on 20,262 tests.

There were 804 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including 583 patients in intensive care and 387 on ventilators.

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