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This page includes answers to frequently asked COVID-19 questions including province-wide Roadmap to Reopening, self-isolation and masking requirements.

For questions related to COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the COVID-19 Vaccines Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Province-Wide Roadmap to Reopening FAQs

Maintain a physical distance of at least 2 meters (6 feet) when gathering with members outside your household. Wear a mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

  • Step 1:
    • Maximum 10 people for outdoor gatherings and organized public events
    • Indoor gatherings are not permitted
  • Step 2:
    • Maximum 25 people allowed for outdoor gatherings and organized public events
    • Maximum 5 people allowed for indoor gatherings and organized public events with other restrictions
  • Step 3: July 16, 2021
    • Maximum 100 people allowed for outdoor gatherings and organized public events
    • Maximum 25 people allowed for indoor gatherings and organized public events with other restrictions

Yes, but with capacity limits.

  • Step 1:
    • Maximum 15% capacity of a particular room permitted indoors
    • Outdoor ceremonies are permitted with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres
    • Drive-in services are permitted
  • Step 2:
    • Indoor ceremonies are permitted at 25% capacity of the room
    • Outdoor ceremonies are permitted with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres
  • Step 3: July 16, 2021
    • Indoor and outdoor ceremonies are permitted with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres

Regional Mask by-law FAQs

On July 15, 2020, Halton Regional Council passed Consolidated Mask By-law 47-20 (PDF file), making it mandatory to wear a mask in certain enclosed public places. On September 16, 2020, Halton Regional Council approved amendments to the by-law. The amended by-law takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on September 23, 2020 and is in effect until December 31, 2021. Some individuals may be exempt from the by-law.

The by-law applies to certain indoor public places, including, but not limited to:

  • premises (or any part of premises) used as places of business for the sale of goods or services;
  • churches, mosques, synagogues, temples or other places of worship;
  • community centres including indoor recreational facilities;
  • libraries, art galleries, museums, aquariums, zoos and other similar facilities;
  • community service agencies providing services to the public, including municipal administrative buildings;
  • banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums and other event spaces;
  • premises utilized as an open house, presentation centre, or other facility for real estate purposes;
  • common areas of hotels, motels and other short-term rentals, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms or other common use facilities;
  • concert venues, theatres, cinemas, casinos and other entertainment facilities;
  • public transportation and private transportation services (such as taxis, private limousine services, Uber, Lyft and other similar ride programs); and
  • enclosed common areas of an apartment or condominium building, including the lobby elevator, laundry room and mailrooms.

The City of Burlington and Halton Region’s by-laws are also the same. When in Burlington, follow the Burlington By-law.

Consolidated Mask By-law No. 47-20 (PDF file) does not require individuals to wear a mask outdoors. However, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health encourages all individuals to wear a mask in situations where physical distancing is a challenge, including crowded outdoor spaces.

Wearing only a face shield does not meet the requirements of the Regional mask by-law as it does not filter respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets can either enter or escape around the shield.

A face shield may be used in addition to wearing a mask.

Owners/operators of public places are required to:

  • Create a mask policy (PDF file) for the establishment.
  • Communicate the mask policy to employees, customers and patrons and have it readily available.
  • Train staff on the Consolidated Mask By-law (PDF file) and your policy, including applicable exemptions.
  • Ensure that all employees, volunteers or patrons wear a mask indoors, unless exempt.
  • Post signage at all entrances and other high visibility areas. Download and print the mandatory mask or face covering poster (PDF file) or create a sign containing the following text:
    • ALL PERSONS ENTERING OR REMAINING IN THESE PREMISES SHALL WEAR A NON-MEDICAL MASK OR FACE COVERING WHICH COVERS THEIR NOSE, MOUTH AND CHIN AS REQUIRED UNDER THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF HALTON BY-LAW 47-20.
    • THE FOLLOWING PERSONS SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENT TO WEAR A NON-MEDICAL MASK / FACE COVERING IN ENCLOSED PUBLIC PLACES WITHIN HALTON REGION:
      1. the person has an underlying medical condition where wearing a Mask or Face Covering would inhibit the person’s ability to breathe in any way;
      2. the person may experience a negative impact to their emotional well-being or mental health;
      3. the person has a developmental disability which inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;
      4. the person has a disability whereby the wearing of a mask or face covering would limit their ability to reasonably communicate with others or otherwise present a hardship for a person or persons assisting the individual;
      5. the person is unable to place or remove a Mask or Face Covering without assistance;
      6. employees and agents of the person responsible for the Public Place within an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier;
    • Please be respectful of the rights of individuals who are exempt from wearing a mask in conformity with the exemptions provided in the by-law.
    • To report an incident of noncompliance, contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.
    • If you have any questions or concerns, please call 311.
  • Provide a verbal reminder to employees, volunteers and patrons to wear a mask.
  • Consider offering alternative services to patrons who are unable to wear a mask (for example, provide online, telephone, curbside pickup or off-peak hour services).
  • Please note: Businesses must continue to follow additional direction provided by the Ontario government, health and safety associations and/or Halton Region Public Health. Visit covid-19.ontario.ca (external link) or Halton's COVID-19 Information and Guidance for more information.

Employees are required to wear a mask at all times unless they are:

  • exempt under the Consolidated Mask By-law (PDF file);
  • working in an area designated for them (not accessible to the public and able to maintain a physical distance of two metres from others); or
  • working within or behind a physical barrier.

Employees may be required to wear additional protective equipment as required by their employer (for example, gloves, face shield or goggles).

All customers are required to wear a mask in enclosed (indoor) service settings unless they are exempt. The mask must cover their mouth, nose and chin when they enter and remain on for the duration of the visit.

Consolidated Mask By-law 47-20 (PDF file) allows for the temporary removal of a mask when receiving a service, such as having a meal. Customers dining in outdoor restaurant patios are not required to wear a mask.

The staff member would be exempt under section 6. iv. of the Consolidated Mask By-law No. 47-20 (PDF file).

Please keep in mind that not all exemptions are visible. Section 9 of the by-law states that there is no requirement for the employee to provide proof of exemption.

The Consolidated Mask By-law No. 47-20 (PDF file) states:

  • no person shall be discriminated against for not wearing a mask due to an exemption (section 7)
  • members of the public are not required to provide proof of exemption (section 9)

If a customer has been refused entry, they should seek their own legal advice.

Class Order for Self-isolation FAQs

A class order is a legal order, issued by the Medical Officer of Health (PDF file). This enables Halton Region Public Health to enforce self-isolation requirements (external PDF) to protect our community from potential exposure to COVID-19. The order is put in place to make sure that everyone who needs to self-isolate follows the directions.

The order requires anyone who:

  1. is a confirmed case or probable case of COVID-19;
  2. has new symptoms (even mild symptoms) or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test;
  3. otherwise has reasonable grounds to believe they now have symptoms (even mild symptoms) of COVID-19, or have had such symptoms within the past 10 days;
  4. is a close contact of a person who has COVID-19 or is a probable case of COVID-19, even if they do not themselves have any symptoms of COVID-19;
  5. has been advised to self-isolate by Halton Region Public Health. You must remain in self-isolation for duration specified by Halton Region Public Health.

If you are a parent, or person with responsibilities of a parent, of a person under sixteen years of age who fits in to the categories listed above in Halton Region, you are responsible to ensure the person under the age of 16 complies with the self-isolation requirements.

Yes, the following people may have exceptions for self-isolation:

  • a person who, in the opinion of the Medical Officer of Health, provides an essential service, for the limited purpose of providing that essential service;
  • a person receiving essential medical services or treatments, whether related to COVID-19 or not; or
  • where a person’s isolation, in the opinion of the Medical Officer of Health, would not be in the public interest.

Generally, you are a High-Risk/Close Contact if you had contact with someone with COVID-19 while they were infectious, and you:

  • lived with them;
  • had intimate contact or were sneezed or coughed on by them;
  • cared for by them, or provided care to them. For example, helped with bathing, feeding or dressing;
  • had face-to-face contact with them:
    • for at least 15 minutes. These 15 minutes can be all at once or in shorter time periods totaling 15 minutes or more;
    • while less than 2 metres (6 feet) apart;
    • regardless of whether you or the other person wore a mask; and
    • regardless of whether you were indoors or outdoors; or
  • had been in a crowded and/or closed space with them or where they had been (e.g. a room or a gym), regardless of mask use or physical distance.

These are some of the criteria for a High-Risk/Close Contact but is not inclusive of all factors. The Health Department may deem someone a High-Risk/Close Contact based an assessment of the situation.

Fully vaccinated individuals who are a high-risk/close contact of a confirmed case or probable case of COVID-19 may not need to self-isolate if:

  • you are fully vaccinated 14 days or more before you last had close contact with the confirmed case or probable case of COVID-19;
  • you are asymptomatic; and
  • you are not a resident of a long-term care or retirement home, a patient admitted to a health care setting, or an individual with an immunocompromising condition (e.g., organ or stem cell transplant recipient, undergoing chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapies).

Fully vaccinated individuals who meet these requirements may still be required to self-isolate if the person you have had contact with is infected with a Variant of Concern of the COVID-19 virus. You will be informed by Halton Region Public Health if this is the case.

Even if relieved of the requirement to self-isolate:

  • You must report your exposure to your employer and follow any restrictions from work as specified by your employer;
  • If you develop new symptoms (even mild symptoms) of COVID-19, you must:
    • Self-isolate immediately; and
    • Report your symptoms to Halton Region Public Health.

Halton Region Public Health may require people to self-isolate to prevent COVID-19 transmission in circumstances beyond what has been described above.

Halton Region Public Health is available to assist residents who need help in order to properly self-isolate or while self-isolating. Individuals who need support can contact Halton Region Public Health by email at accesshalton@halton or by calling 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866.

Halton Region Public Health will first contact the person to make sure that they understand what is required of them, and to see if they need support in maintaining the self-isolation requirements. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) will consider the need for legal action for required compliance.

Individuals who are required to self-isolate by this class order but fail to do so can be charged and fined up to $5,000 per day. The Heath Protection and Promotion Act also allows the MOH to go to court and seek an order to protect the health of the community. This order can involve taking the person into custody and confining in a hospital or other appropriate facility until the self-isolation period or other public health direction is over.

Yes. Any person may request a hearing by the Health Services Appeal and Review Board to challenge its requirements. Refer to the Class Order for details.

The class order to self-isolate is issued by Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. The Quarantine Order to self-isolate is a Federal Government act aimed at travellers entering Canada.

In some cases, individuals subject to home quarantine or isolation measures under the federal quarantine order may also be subject to the Class Order issued by Halton Region's Medical Officer of Health (for example, individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and have also recently returned from travel).

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