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Halton Region has moved to Stage 3 of the Province’s plan for reopening. This page includes information on what is reopening, what remains closed and resources to help support businesses and residents as we reopen our economy and community in the safest way possible.

Mandatory Mask By-Law

Effective July 22, 2020, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering is mandatory in certain enclosed indoor public places in Halton region. Some individuals are exempt. Please be kind and support each other. The by-law is in effect until November 30, 2020, unless extended by Regional Council.

On September 16, 2020, Halton Regional Council approved amendments to By-law 47-20. The amended by-law takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on September 23, 2020. The updated by-law is provided below. Details of the amendments are outlined in Halton Region’s September 22 media release.

Learn more:

Other Public Health measures still in place

Halton Region Public Health is reminding residents and businesses that other important public health measures and direction remain in place as the COVID-19 pandemic and emergency continues. We must protect the progress we have made together so we can continue to move forward, not backwards.

Please remember that wearing a mask does not replace other important public health measures:

  • wash your hands; 
  • stay home when you are sick;
  • physically distance (social distance) with those outside your social circle; and
  • physically distance and wear a mask in indoor public places.

Learn more about how to protect yourself and others

 

Frequently asked questions

The following information is also available for download as a PDF for the Residents (PDF file) and Business Owners and Operators (PDF file)

On July 15, 2020, Halton Regional Council passed By-law 47-20, making it mandatory to wear a non-medical mask or face covering in certain enclosed public places. The by-law is in effect as of 12:01 a.m. on July 22, 2020. Some individuals may be exempt from the by-law.

Individuals five years of age and over are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering in certain enclosed (indoor) public places in Halton Region, unless exemptions apply.

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; and
  • public transportation and private transportation services (such as taxis, private limousine services, Uber, Lyft and other similar ride programs).
The City of Burlington and Halton Region’s by-laws are also the same; however, as of August 20, 2020 Burlington’s By-law also applies to most enclosed common areas of condominiums and apartment buildings, with the same exemptions as for public enclosed/indoor spaces. When in Burlington, follow the Burlington By-law. 

Wearing of masks or face coverings is not required in these premises:

  • schools and post-secondary institutions
  • child care facilities
  • indoor/outdoor day care and day camps
  • correctional centres and jails
  • hospitals, independent health facilities and offices of regulated health professionals
  • court facilities and professional offices where clients receive purchased services (such as lawyer or accountant office) that are not open to members of the public except by appointment
  • staff-only areas within a public place
  • indoor areas of a building accessible to only employees

Note: This premises may have their own requirements for masks or face coverings. Contact before visiting.

Regional By-law 47-20 does not require individuals to wear a mask outdoors. However, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health encourages all individuals to wear a non-medical mask or face covering in situations where physical distancing is a challenge, including crowded outdoor spaces.

Some individuals are exempt from the by-law and not all exemptions are visible. Please be kind and supportive to those who may be exempt from wearing a mask. No person shall be discriminated against for not wearing a non-medical mask or face covering due to an exemption.

The following individuals are exempt from the by-law, and are not required to provide proof of their exemption:

  • persons with an underlying medical condition where wearing a mask or face covering would inhibit their ability to breathe in any way;
  • persons who may experience a negative impact to their emotional well-being or mental health;
  • persons who have a developmental disability which inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;
  • persons who have a disability whereby the wearing of a mask or face covering would limit their ability to reasonably communicate with others or present a hardship for a person(s) assisting the individual;
  • persons who are unable to place or remove a non-medical mask or face covering without assistance; and
  • employees and agents of the person responsible for the public place who are separated from customers and co-workers in an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier.

In addition, the by-law allows for the temporary removal of non-medical masks/face coverings when necessary for receiving services (such as having a meal), or while actively engaging in an athletic or fitness activity.

The primary goal is educate people about the importance of wearing of non-medical masks or face coverings in indoor public places. Halton Region Public Health, local by-law enforcement or Halton Regional Police Service may respond to reports of significant or on-going non-compliance. This may include enforcement measures such as set fines.

Halton residents and businesses are asked to do their part to protect the health of the community, and comply with the by-law.

If you have concerns about someone not wearing a mask or face covering, please keep in mind that there are a number of exemptions to the by-law and there is no requirement for people to prove they are exempt. Residents and business owners should take people at their word, and be kind and respectful. For additional questions about the by-law, please email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311.

Residents are asked to refrain from reporting individual non-compliance issues for now, as we all learn the new rules.

To report an incidence of significant or ongoing noncompliance, contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722. Staff will follow up within one business day.

  • If a customer has been refused entry, they should seek their own legal advice.
  • It should be noted that no person shall be discriminated against for not wearing a non-medical mask/face covering.

For more information about the by-law, please email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311.

Ontario’s framework for reopening the province

Ontario's Framework for Reopening our Province outlines principles the Provincial government is using to reopen businesses, services and public spaces in gradual stages. It also explains the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health uses to determine when it is safe to move between the stages and loosen public health restrictions.

The framework includes three phases:

  • Phase 1: Protect and Support
  • Phase 2: Restart
  • Phase 3: Recover

The province is currently in Phase 2, which features three stages of reopening. Communities throughout Ontario are moving between the stages separately—as they are ready—based on key public health indicators for the area. On July 24, Halton moved from Stage 2 to Stage 3.

To learn more about the framework, please follow the links below to the Government of Ontario website.

A Framework for Reopening our Province Reopening Ontario: what's in each stage

Reopening our community and economy

Halton (including Burlington, Milton, Halton Hills and Oakville) moved to Stage 3 of reopening on Friday, July 24, 2020. Nearly all businesses and public spaces have reopened with restrictions in place, while some high-risk venues and activities remain closed until they can safely resume operations.

What is open and what remains closed 

The following section outlines which businesses, services and outdoor and recreational settings have reopened or plan to reopen in each Stage of the province’s plan. Learn more about the Provincial framework for reopening.

Ontario entered Stage 1 of reopening on May 19, 2020. Stage 1 included workplaces that are well-positioned to follow public health advice and workplace safety measures.

 
Setting Includes
Construction (external link)
  • Activities or projects
  • Related services that support construction activities or projects (such as demolition services)
  • Land surveyors
Retail (external link)
  • Stores that open onto a street or exterior sidewalk
Vehicle dealerships and retailers (external link)
  • Vehicle dealerships and retailers
Media industries (external link)
  • Sound recording, production, publishing and distribution
  • Film and television post-production, visual effects and animation studios
  • Book and periodical production, publishing and distribution
  • Interactive digital media businesses
Health services (external link)
  • Non-emergency diagnostic imaging and surgeries in public hospitals, private hospitals and independent health facilities, clinics and private practices
  • In-person counselling and in-person health services
Community services (external link)
  • Libraries (for pick-up or delivery)
  • Religious services (for drive-in only)
Outdoor recreational amenities (external link)
  • Golf courses and outdoor golf driving ranges
  • Private campgrounds (to prepare for the upcoming season)
Individual outdoor recreational sports (external link)
  • Facilities for outdoor sports and activities (individual activities only):
    • Baseball diamonds
    • Soccer fields
    • Frisbee golf
    • Tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts
    • Basketball courts
    • BMX parks
    • Skate parks
    • Motorsport tracks
    • Cycling tracks and bike trails
    • Horse riding facilities
    • Shooting ranges, including those operated by rod and gun clubs
Individual sports competitions without spectators (external link)
  • Facilities for training amateur or professional athletes (except pools)
Professional services related to research and development (external link)
  • Professional services related to conducting research and experimental development in physical, engineering and life sciences (electronics, computers, chemistry, oceanography, geology, mathematics, physics, environmental, medicine, health, biology, botany, biotechnology, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, pharmacy, veterinary and other subjects)
Emissions inspection facilities (external link)
  • Emissions inspection facilities for heavy diesel commercial motor vehicles
Veterinary services (external link)
  • Veterinary services (by appointment)
Animal services (external link)
  • Pet grooming services
  • Pet sitting services
  • Pet walking services
  • Pet training services
  • Training and provision of service animals
Indoor and outdoor household services (external link)
  • Domestic services (housekeepers, cooks, maids, butlers, personal affairs management, nanny services, babysitters, other domestic personnel)
  • Cleaning and maintenance services (house cleaning, indoor/outdoor painting, window cleaning, pool cleaning, general repairs)
Maintenance (external link)
  • Maintenance, repair and property management services that manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties
Additional openings (external link)
  • Regulated health professionals (May 26, 2020)
  • Backcountry camping at Ontario Parks and on Crown lands (June 1, 2020)
  • Drive-in movie theatres that were in existence before May 29, 2020 (May 31, 2020)
  • Short-term rentals, including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condominiums and bed and breakfasts (June 5, 2020)
  • Batting cages  (May 31, 2020)

To learn more about Stage 1, please follow the links below to the Government of Ontario website.

Reopening Ontario: what’s in each stage A Framework for Reopening our Province: Stage 1

The following is a list of what reopened in a modified way in Stage 2. 

 
Setting Includes
Personal care services (external link)
  • Hair services
  • Beauty salons, shops and parlours
  • 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
Personal services (external link)
  • House sitting
  • Party, wedding planning and consulting services
  • Personal organizer services
  • Personal physical fitness trainer and sports trainers (outside of gyms only)
  • Personal shopping services
  • Porter services
  • Shoe services
  • Check room services
  • Wedding chapels
Restaurants and bars (outdoor areas only) (external link)
  • Patios
  • Curbside pickup
  • Parking lots
  • Adjacent dining areas
Shopping malls and centres (external link)
  • Shopping centres
  • Shopping malls
  • Markets
Photography (external link)
  • Photography studios
  • On-location services
Film and TV (external link)
  • Film and television production activities
Tour and guide services (external link)
  • Resource-based tours
  • Tastings and tours for operators of on-site retail stores at manufacturing sites
  • Trail riding, walking and bike tours
  • Motor vehicle and boat tours
Water recreational facilities (external link)
  • Indoor and outdoor swimming pools
  • Outdoor splash pads
  • Wading pools
Outdoor recreational facilities (external link)
  • Paintball
  • Mini-golf
  • Archery ranges
  • Go-cart tracks
  • Other adventure activities
Beaches, parks and camping (external link)
  • Recreational vehicle/car camping
  • All other types of camping
Outdoor recreational team sports (external link)
  • Training activities only (no scrimmages or games)
  • Limited access to facilities (washrooms, emergency aid and equipment management)
Drive-in and drive-thru venues (external link)
  • Movie theatres
  • Concerts
  • Animal attractions
  • Cultural appreciation (such as art installations)
Weddings, funerals and similar gatherings (external link)
  • Indoor and outdoor event venues
Libraries (external link)
  • Computer access
  • Contactless book pickup and drop-off (no visitor access to shelves)
Community centres (external link)
  • Limited or modified on-site programs and services
Attractions and heritage institutions (external link)
  • Museums
  • Galleries
  • Aquariums
  • Zoos
  • Outdoor heritage institutions
  • Establishments preserving and exhibiting objects, sites and natural wonders of historical, cultural and educational value
Small outdoor events (external link)
  • Cultural celebrations
  • Animal shows
  • Fundraisers

To learn more about Stage 2, please follow the links below to the Government of Ontario website.

Reopening Ontario: what’s in each stage A Framework for Reopening our Province: Stage 2

In Stage 3, nearly all businesses and public spaces (such as playgrounds) reopened following the public health advice and workplace safety guidance necessary to keep everyone safe. Ontario’s 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; and
  • table games at casinos and gaming establishments.

All other businesses and public spaces are permitted to be open, subject to ensuring the appropriate health and safety measures are in place, as well as limits on gathering sizes (lowered to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors on September 19 (external link)).

Those that are unable to open or are facing difficulties in operating under the Stage 3 restrictions may visit Ontario.ca/reopen (external link) to submit a reopening proposal.

Public Health guidance

The Ontario Government, health and safety associations and Halton Region Public Health have prepared guidance documents to assist businesses, services and public settings with reopening safely. If you are an operator planning to reopen, please read the following documents and closely follow their direction.

Halton Region Public Health will not be approving reopening plans for individual organizations or businesses. Public Health inspections are only required prior to reopening of public pools, spas, public beaches and farmer’s markets.

Businesses with questions about how to reopen safely can call the Province's Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Licensed child care centres and home care providers were permitted to reopen starting June 12, 2020, and must follow strict health protocols to ensure the safety of children and child care staff.

Effective September 1, 2020, licensed child care centres can open at full capacity. EarlyON and Family Centres can also resume in-person programming and before and after-school programs for school-aged children. All of these programs are subject to health and safety protocols.

The following guidance is intended for child care operators and staff, including home care providers.

Directives and guidance documents

Resources

Posters

The following guidance document is intended to support community and allotment garden operators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Day camps are required to follow all existing worker health and safety, public health, and other relevant requirements to ensure the safety of all staff and participants. Refer to the following guidance document for more information.

On September 19, the Provincial Government lowered the limit on private social gatherings across Ontario (external link) and Halton to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. The lower limit applies to all unmonitored, private social gatherings, including parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs, weddings or other private functions taking place in homes, backyards, parks and other recreational areas. If you are hosting or attending a gathering with people not in your social circle, you must be able to keep 6 feet apart at all times or wear a mask. Wash your hands often and do not attend if you are sick; even with mild symptoms. Public Health urges residents to limit non-essential social gatherings and continue to follow all public health direction.

As per O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3, indoor weddings, funerals or religious services, rites or ceremonies must not exceed 30 per cent of the capacity of the room being used in the facility and all persons attending must comply with public health guidance on physical distancing.

The following document provides general guidelines for hosting or organizing group gatherings, such as parties, weddings, funerals and ceremonies. These resources will be updated shortly to capture the new limits announced on September 19. 

The following guidance documents are intended for employers of farm workers to help control the spread of COVID-19 on farms.

To access personal protective equipment, please visit:

On July 31, 2020, O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 was amended to require restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food and drink establishments in Ontario to record the name and contact information of all patrons, except those picking up takeout, for a period of 30 days. The records are only to be disclosed to Halton Region Public Health upon request, to support case and contact tracing. Other requirements are listed in O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3.

The following guidance documents are intended to provide restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments with health and safety recommendations for reopening indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Directives and guidance documents

Resources

Posters

Calls to the COVID-19 hotline related to food premises are directed to Public Health for response. An educational approach is taken with these complaints to assist operators in achieving compliance to protect customers. If Public Health notes repeat issues and observes continued non-compliance, a progressive enforcement approach would be employed (potentially including warnings, tickets and summons, if necessary). 

The following guidance documents are intended to support operators of group homes and other congregate settings.

Gyms and indoor recreation facilities are permitted to reopen provided they comply with public health guidance on physical distancing and that the total number of patrons in the facility does not exceed the indoor gathering limit of 50 persons in each room or area, or the outdoor limit of 100 persons (excluding staff).

The following guidance documents are intended to support owners and operators with reopening indoor recreational facilities, including gyms, health clubs, community centres, multi-purpose facilities, arenas, exercise studios, yoga and dance studios, and other fitness facilities.

Indoor entertainment facilities are permitted to reopen provided they comply with public health guidance on physical distancing and that the total number of people permitted in the indoor entertainment facility does not exceed 50 people (excluding staff). As of July 30, movie theatres are permitted to host up to 50 people per screening with multiple screenings permitted in the same building at one time.

The following guidance documents are intended to support owners/operators with reopening indoor entertainment facilities, including theatres, cinemas and gaming establishments.

If you are a long-term care or retirement home administrator or employee looking for information about COVID-19 infection prevention and control, please visit Halton’s Long-term Care and Retirement Homes - Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) page. 

The following guidance document is intended to support owners and operators of multi-unit housing (for example, apartments and condominiums) to ensure public safety and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The following guidance is intended for operators of outdoor recreational spaces to ensure public safety as these spaces reopen. Outdoor recreational spaces include any area that is accessible to the public including: parks, trails, beaches and playgrounds.

Personal service settings are required to comply with O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 and O. Reg. 136/18: Personal Service Settings, requiring persons who provide personal care services to wear appropriate personal protective equipment and patrons to wear a face covering at all times (except when receiving a service that tends to an area of the face).  

The following guidance documents are intended to support owners/operators with reopening personal service settings, including hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, day spas, hair removal services, piercing services, tattoo services, and tanning salons.

As of Friday, June 12, 2020, all places of worship in Ontario are permitted to open with physical distancing in place. Attendance must be limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity. Refer to the following public health guidance for faith-based organizations.

The following guidance is intended for public transit agencies and passengers to help control the spread of COVID-19 on public transit.

The following guidance is intended for school boards, administrators, trustees and staff as they reopen and operate schools and post-secondary institutions.

Information about safe school reopening for parents, students and families is available on the Reopening Schools webpage.

Directives and guidance documents

Resources and fact sheets

Posters

Videos

Effective July 24, 2020, sports and recreational facilities can open and team competitions (scrimmages and games) can resume. Sports in which body contact between players is integral or frequent (for example, wrestling or judo) are not permitted unless the approach can be modified to prevent prolonged or deliberate physical contact.

Halton Region Public Health will not be reviewing reopening plans for sport organizations. Refer to the following public health guidance to keep coaches and athletes safe. Additional guidelines and recommendations for reopening may be provided by the sport organizational body.

The following guidance document is intended for taxi and ride share companies, drivers, and passengers to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Resources to Prevent COVID-19 in the Workplace

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