COVID-19 Restrictions and Guidelines - Frequently Asked Questions

*This page is being updated to reflect the latest revisions to Provincial Regulations*

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
COVID-19 Restrictions and Guidelines

Ontario moved into Step Three of the Provincial Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16, at 12:01 a.m.
For a complete list of restrictions and regulations, please read O. Reg. 364/20: RULES FOR AREAS IN STEP 3.

 

Do I have to provide proof of vaccination when entering the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre and Arenas?
Do I have to complete a screening when entering the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre and Arenas?
Do I have to show proof of vaccination when entering the Niagara-on-the-Lake Library?
Do I have to show proof of vaccination when going to Sweets and Swirls Café?
Can I show a photocopy of my piece of identification?
Do coaches, volunteers, and instructions have to provide proof of vaccination?
Are child care programs open?
Are day camps open?
Are water features such as outdoor pools, wading pools or splash pads open?
What outdoor recreational amenities are open? Are Town play structures, skatepark, etc., open for use?
Can I play tennis/pickleball?
Can I play golf?
Can I go to a sports, recreation or fitness facility?
Can I go to a store or shopping mall?
Can I go to a restaurant?
Can I go to a salon to get my hair or nails done?
Can I take my pet to get groomed?
Can I attend a religious service, wedding or funeral?
Can I go to the theatre or concert?
Can I rent out or stay in a short term rental?
How many people are we allowed to "gather" with?
Are individuals who live alone still permitted to "join" another household?
Can I go camping?
What are persons and business owners responsible for?
What should I do if I think someone isn't abiding by the rules of this Order?
Is local transit still running?
Are Town Administrative Buildings Reopening?
Is the Community Centre Open?
Where can I find accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine and the process for its rollout? 
How does the Class Order under Section 22 impact food & drink establishments?
How does the Class Order under Section 22 impact shopping malls and retail establishments?

 

Proof of Vaccination

On September 22, the Provincial Government launched its proof of vaccination program, in alignment with O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step, requiring all Ontarians to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination alongside identification to access certain public settings. 
 

Please see below for information about how this impacts Town facilities. For all other inquiries regarding proof of vaccination, please see the Ministry of Health Q&A and Proof of Vaccination Guidance documents.

Do I have to provide proof of vaccination when entering the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre and Arenas?

Residents and visitors accessing the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre, Meridian Credit Union and Centennial Arenas are required to show identification -- e.g., Birth certificate, Citizenship card, Driver’s licence, Government-issued identification card (including health card), Indian Status Card/Indigenous Membership Card, passport, Permanent Resident card -- plus proof of a complete series of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, or a combination of approved vaccines, received at least 14 days before arrival at the facility.

Exemptions from the requirement with respect to patrons include:

  • Individuals who are medically exempt from the vaccine. Those individuals will be permitted entry with a physician’s note until recognized medical exemptions can be integrated as part of a digital vaccine certificate;
  • Children who are under 12 years of age;
  • Individuals under 18 years of age who are entering the indoor premises of a facility used for sports and recreation activities for the sole purpose of participating in an organized sport within a facility; and,
  • Individuals entering an indoor area solely to use the restroom facilities.

Screening and other Public Health recommendations remain in place.

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Do I have to complete a screening when entering the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre and Arenas?

Yes. Individuals entering all Town facilities are required to complete a screening.

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Do I have to show proof of vaccination when entering the Niagara-on-the-Lake Library?

Visitors accessing the Niagara-on-the-Lake Library will not be required to provide proof of vaccination, based on current Provincial regulations.

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Do I have to show proof of vaccination when going to Sweets and Swirls Café?

Visitors visiting Sweets and Swirls Café must provide proof of vaccination for dine-in services. However, proof of vaccination is not required if individuals are accessing the facility solely to place or pick up an order from the Café.

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Can I show a photocopy of my piece of identification?

Yes. Photocopies of identifications are currently being accepted.

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Do coaches, volunteers, and instructions have to provide proof of vaccination?

Individuals who are coaching, volunteering, or instructing within a Town facility are currently exempt from providing proof of vaccination. This exemption, while not outlined in Provincial Regulation (O. Reg 364/20), is noted in the Provincial Proof of Vaccination Guiding Document. Town Staff is seeking clarification on this discrepancy and, until such clarification is provided, will not require coaches, volunteers, or instructors to provide proof of vaccination. Therefore, please be advised that this exemption is subject to change.

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Step Three of Provincial Roadmap to Reopen

Are child care programs open?

Child care providers, within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, for non school-aged children are open with enhanced health and safety measures. 

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Are day camps open?

Yes. Day camps remain permitted to open, provided that they are operated in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines for COVID-19 for day camps produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

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Are water features such as outdoor pools, wading pools or splash pads open?

Yes. Outdoor pools, splash pads, spray pads, whirlpools, wading pools, and water slides are permitted to operate with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres while adhering to all other health and safety guidelines.

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What outdoor recreational amenities are open? Are Town play structures, skatepark, etc., open for use?

Outdoor recreational amenities are permitted to open with restrictions in place. The following Town-owned outdoor recreational amenities are open:

  • Parks and recreational areas, including benches and picnic tables
  • Baseball diamonds, soccer and sports fields, basketball courts
  • Tennis and pickleball courts
  • Skate park
  • Splash Pad
  • Pools
  • Wading Pool
  • Tracks, trails and green spaces
  • Playgrounds
  • Public Washrooms

Any person who enters or uses an outdoor recreational amenity must maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from any other person who is using the amenity.

Please note that Town outdoor recreational amenities are not being sanitized. Use of opened outdoor amenities must be done in compliance with all Provincial Orders and advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the premises of the establishment.

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Can I play tennis/pickleball?

Yes. Singles and doubles play is permitted for tennis and pickleball with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres while adhering to all other health and safety guidelines.

The Acting Medical Officer of Health for Niagara Region recommends the wearing of masks if doubles partners do not reside in the same household.

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Can I play golf?

Yes. Golf courses and driving ranges are permitted to reopen with additional safety restrictions, including physical distancing of 2 metres.

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Can I go to a sports, recreation or fitness facility?

Yes. Indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness facilities are permitted to operate subject to a number of restrictions, including:

Indoor facilities: The total number of members of the public permitted to be in the facility at any one time must be limited to 50 per cent of the capacity of the facility.

Indoor spectators: Capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less.

Every indoor spectator must wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin (exceptions apply).

Outdoor spectators: Capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual outdoor seating capacity, or 15,000 persons, whichever is less.

Every outdoor spectator must wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin (exceptions apply) unless seated with members of their own household only, and every other member of the household is seated at least 2 metres from every person outside their household.

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Can I go to a store or shopping mall?

Yes. Step Three permits all essential and non-essential retail establishments to reopen, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of 2 metres.

*Please see additional restrictions for retail establishments outlined below, as issued in the Class Order under Section 22, in effect for the Niagara Region.

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Can I go to a restaurant?

Yes. Restaurants bars, food trucks, concession stands, and other food or drink establishments are permitted to reopen for outdoor and indoor dining with the following restrictions:

  • The total number of patrons permitted to be seated at the establishment, whether indoors or outdoors, must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from every other person at the establishment.
  • The establishment must be configured so that patrons seated at different tables are separated by a distance of at least 2 metres, or plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
  • The person responsible for the establishment must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the establishment is permitted to operate.
  • The person responsible for the establishment must actively screen any dine-in patrons in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the establishment.
  • The person responsible for the establishment must record the name and contact information of every patron that enters an area of the establishment, unless the patron temporarily enters the area to place, pick up or pay for a takeout order, maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.
  • No patron shall dance at the establishment.

*Please see additional restrictions for food and drink premises outlined below, as issued in the Class Order under Section 22, in effect for the Niagara Region.

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Can I go to a salon to get my hair or nails done?

Yes. Personal care services relating to the hair or body, including hair salons and barbershops, manicure and pedicure salons, aesthetician services, piercing services, tanning salons, spas and tattoo studios, are permitted to open, with restrictions. 

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Can I take my pet to get groomed?

Yes. Businesses that provide pet services, including pet grooming services, pet sitting services, pet walking services and pet training services, including services for the training and provision of service animals are permitted to open.

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Can I attend a religious service, wedding or funeral?

Yes. Outdoor religious services, rites and ceremonies, including weddings and funerals, are permitted where the number of persons attending the gathering is limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from every other person in the space where the gathering is held.

If held in a building or structure other than a private dwelling, indoor religious services, rites and ceremonies, including weddings and funerals, are permitted providing that the number of persons occupying any room in the building or structure while attending the gathering is limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from every other person in the room.

All persons attending the gathering must comply with public health guidance on physical distancing.

Social gatherings associated with these services, such as receptions, are permitted with a maximum of no more than 25 people if the event is held indoors or 100 people if the event is held outdoors.

Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies are permitted, subject to certain conditions.

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Can I go to the theatre or concert?

Yes. Concert venues, theatres and cinemas may open if they comply with the following conditions:

  • The number of members of the public at an outdoor seated concert, event, performance or movie within the concert venue, theatre or cinema at any one time must not exceed 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity for the concert venue, theatre or cinema, or 15,000 persons, whichever is less.
  • The number of members of the public in the outdoor area of the concert, event, performance or movie at any one time must not exceed 75 per cent capacity of the concert venue, theatre or cinema, or 5,000 persons, whichever is less.
  • The number of members of the public at an indoor seated concert, event, performance or movie within the concert venue, theatre or cinema at any one time must not exceed 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity for the concert venue, theatre or cinema, or 1,000 persons, whichever is less.
  • The number of members of the public permitted to be in a particular room in the indoor portion of the seated concert, event, performance or movie at any one time must not exceed 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity of the room in the concert venue, theatre or cinema, and the total capacity for the particular room cannot be added to increase the total capacity of the concert venue, theatre, or cinema.
  • Every member of the public who is outdoors at a concert, event, performance or movie must wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin (exceptions apply) or are seated with members of their own household only, and every member of the household is seated at least 2 metres from every person outside their household.
  • No member of the public may attend a seated concert, event, performance or movie within the concert venue, theatre or cinema unless they have made a reservation to do so.
  • The person responsible for the concert venue, theatre or cinema must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the concert venue, theatre or cinema is permitted to operate and the capacity limits of any seated concert, event, performance or movie within the concert venue, theatre or cinema.

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Can I rent out or stay in a short term rental?

Yes. Short term rental accommodations and hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, cottages, resorts and other shared rental accommodations, including student residences, may reopen with the following restriction:

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How many people are we allowed to "gather" with?

Step Three permits outdoor social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 100 people. Indoor social gatherings and organized public events are permitted with a limit of no more than 25 people.

In all instances, all persons attending the gathering must comply with advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health including physical distancing of 2 metres.

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Are individuals who live alone still permitted to "join" another household?

Yes. With respect to a gathering of members of a single household, one other person from outside that household is permitted provided they live alone.

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Can I go camping?

Yes. Overnight camping at campgrounds and campsites, including Ontario Parks, is permitted.

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What are persons and business owners responsible for?

All persons responsible for facilities and open businesses must operate in full compliance with the requirements of O. Reg. 364/20, including but not limited to:

  • Screen employees (you may use the COVID-19 screening tool).
  • Post signs at all entrances informing people how to screen themselves for COVID-19 before entering (see COVID-19 Signage Questions for Businesses and Organizations).
  • Limit capacity and post a sign identifying the limit.
  • Ensure patrons maintain 2 metres physical distance.
  • Make sure everyone indoors wears a mask or face covering that covers their mouth, nose and chin unless they are entitled to any of the exceptions.
  • Make sure workers use personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects their eyes, nose and mouth when they come within 2 metres of anyone who is not wearing a mask or face covering or not separated by a protective barrier.
  • Clean and disinfect often-touched surfaces, such as equipment, washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms and showers frequently.
  • Ensure that patrons lining up inside or outside of the business maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres and wear a mask or face covering.
  • Create a safety plan, and post it in a place where workers and patrons will see it and have it available upon request.

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What should I do if I think someone isn't abiding by the rules of this Order?

Community members looking to report contraventions of Emergency Orders are asked to email covidcomplaints@notl.com. After-hours complaints or urgent issues can be reported by calling the Niagara Regional Police Service’s non-emergency line at 905-688-4111.

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General FAQs

Is local transit still running?

Yes. Visit the Niagara Region website for more information about NRT OnDemand Transit.

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Are Town Administrative Buildings Reopening?

While the Town’s senior management staff is exploring options to prepare for the safe reopening of Town Hall, Town Administrative Buildings will remain closed to the public until further notice.

Town Staff remains available to serve the public online, over the phone, with arranged curbside pick-up, and by appointment. Click here for an outline to obtaining Town services. Please email info@notl.com or call 905-468-3266 if you need to arrange for curbside pickup.

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Is the Community Centre Open?

Yes. In conjunction with the transition to Step Three, the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre reopened at 8 a.m. on Friday, July 16, to allow for public use of the fitness area. Please note that the track is closed.

Although rentals and bookings are not yet available, plans are underway to consider how to safely allow their resumption.

The Community Centre hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Hours of operation will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

For more information about the reopening of the Community Centre, visit notl.com/faq/community-centre-reopening.

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Where can I find accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine and the process for its rollout? 

For information about the vaccine and its rollout, please visit the Niagara Region website. The Niagara Region website states that the availability of vaccine appointments changes quickly. The provincial booking system is the most up-to-date resource on availability for eligible residents.

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Class Order Under Section 22

On Thursday, February 18, 2021, Dr. Mustafa Hirji, the Acting Medical Officer of Health for Niagara Region, issued a Class Order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act that requires food and drink premises and shopping and retail establishments to adhere to additional measures.

These measures are separate from the Provincial COVID-19 Emergency Orders and will remain in effect until further notice. Click here to read the full order.

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How does the Class Order under Section 22 impact food & drink establishments?

Food and drink premises, including restaurants, bars, banquet halls, wineries or breweries, must adhere to the following:

  • Gather name, one form of contact information (phone number, email address, physical address) time, table number, and attestation that the patron doesn’t suffer from any COVID-19 symptoms for every patron aged 16 or older; refuse dine-in service (indoors or outdoors) to anyone refusing to give this information; and maintain and store records in a secure manner for at least one month, to be provided of an inspector or medical officer of health upon request.
  • Interactively screen employees for symptoms of COVID-19 daily and retain records for at least one month.
  • Take all possible steps to keep employees 2 metres from each other and from patrons.
  • Keep patrons seated whenever possible (unless the food premises have dancing facilities like a dance floor).
  • Separate tables by 2 metres or utilize an impermeable barrier.
  • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer at every table and every entrance/exit, with signage encouraging its use.
  • Make employees aware of any benefits or payments to which they may be entitled if they require to self-isolate.

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How does the Class Order under Section 22 impact shopping malls and retail establishments?

All owners/operators of shopping malls and businesses that engage in retail sales to the public, including stores within a shopping mall, must adhere to the following:

  • Actively monitor compliance with the required capacity limits set in the Reopening Ontario Act.
  • Ensure that physical distancing of 2 metres is maintained between staff, patrons, and each other, at all times. (This does not apply to people from the same immediate household.)
  • Actively manage all line-ups and ensure all patrons maintain two metre distancing in all queues or line-ups.
  • Ensure all patrons wear a mask in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin, unless entitled to an exception under the Reopening Ontario Act.
  • Conduct daily interactive screening of all employees for symptoms of COVID-19, and retain records for at least one month.
  • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer at entrances/exits, with signage encouraging its use.
  • Make employees aware of any benefits or pay to which they may be entitled if they are required to self-isolate.
  • Comply with all other requirements that apply under the Reopening Ontario Act.
  • Ensure all stores within the shopping mall set a maximum capacity limit consistent with any required capacity limits set in the Reopening Ontario Act, and monitor the capacity limit to ensure physical distancing of at least 2 metres is maintained.

If you have questions or concerns relating to the Class Order under Section 22, please contact the Regional COVID-19 Info line Monday to Friday from 9:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. at 905-688-8248, press 7 (toll-free at 1-888-505-6074) or email inspects@niagararegion.ca.

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