Shutdown Zone: Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Shutdown Zone & Stay-at-Home Order

A Provincewide Shutdown was imposed on Saturday, April 3, at 12:01 a.m.,
moving all thirty-four Provincial Public Health Units into Shutdown Zone.
A Stay-at-Home Order was enacted on Thursday, April 8, at 12:01 a.m.,
implementing additional restrictions and protective measures.
For a complete list of Shutdown restrictions and regulations, please read O. Reg. 82/20
For full details of the Stay-at-Home Order, please read O. Reg. 265/21.

 

What does the Stay-at-Home Order mean for me?
How long is the Stay-at-Home Order in effect?
Are schools still open for in-person learning?

Are child care and after-school programs still open?
Can I go to a store?
Can I go to a shopping mall?
Can I go to a garden centre or greenhouse?
Are big box stores still open for in-person shopping?
Are restaurants open?
What are business owners responsible for?
Can I go to a salon to get my hair or nails done?
Can I take my pet to get groomed?
What services remain open?
Can I attend a religious service, wedding or funeral?
Can I go to the theatre?
Can I rent out or stay in a short-term rental?
Can I go to the gym?
Are Town play structures, skatepark, etc., open for use?
How many people are we allowed to "gather" with?
Are individuals who live alone still permitted to "join" another household?
Can I travel?
Are leisure drives permitted?
Where can I exercise outside in Niagara-on-the-Lake?
Can I play tennis/pickleball?
Will the public washrooms downtown remain open for use?
Is local transit still running?
Can I still pick up items at the doors of the Town Administration Building?
What should I do if I think someone isn't abiding by the rules of this Order?
Where can I find accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine and the process for its rollout?

What does the Stay-at-Home Order mean for me?

Residents must remain home at all times and only leave for essential purposes, such as:

  • Going to the grocery store or pharmacy
  • Accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated)
  • Outdoor exercise or walking pets in your community
  • Going to work that cannot be done remotely
  • Attending child care

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How long is the Stay-at-Home Order in effect?

The Province implemented a Stay-at-Home Order effective Thursday, April 8, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., for four (4) weeks. This was then extended by an additional two (2) weeks on Friday, April 16, 2021. The Provincial Stay-at-Home Order is in effect until Thursday, May 20, 2021.

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Are schools still open for in-person learning?

With the exception of students with special education needs, whose needs cannot be accommodated through remote learning, effective April 19, 2021, in-person learning has been temporarily moved to an online-only format for Ontario schools. The Province has not established an end-date to the online-only learning. Child care remains open for in-person care.

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Are child care and after-school programs still open?

Licensed child care centres and home-based child care services for non school-aged children are open with enhanced health and safety measures. Before- and after-school programs are closed.

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Can I go to a store?

Pharmacies as well as supermarkets, convenience stores, indoor farmer’s markets and other stores that primarily sell foods are open for in-person retail, with capacity limits of 25% where two metres of physical distancing can be maintained, and for curbside pick-up and delivery.

Stores that sell liquor, including beer, wine and spirits are permitted to operate for in-person shopping between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., with capacity limits of 25%. Delivery services are permitted between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Non-essential retailers are limited to only operating for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., with the delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

The following stores are permitted to operate for in-person retail by appointment only and subject to a 25% capacity limit and restricting allowable hours of operation to between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. with the delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.:

  • Safety supply stores;
  • Businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, aids or supplies, mobility devices, aids or supplies or medical devices, aids or supplies;
  • Rental and leasing services including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental;
  • Optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public;
  • Businesses that sell motor vehicles, boats and other watercraft;
  • Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services; and
  • Retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or service, which may only permit members of the public to enter the premises to purchase a cellphone or for repairs or technical support.

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Can I go to a shopping mall?

Access to shopping malls is limited to specified purposes, including access for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, with one designated location inside the shopping mall, and any number of designated locations outside the shopping mall, along with other unidentified restrictions. Hours of operation are restricted to between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for access to stores and services and between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. for curbside pickup.

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Can I go to a garden centre or greenhouse?

Yes. Outdoor garden centres, plant nurseries, and indoor greenhouses may open for in-person shopping at a maximum 25% capacity limit, with a restriction on hours of operation to between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and with curbside pickup allowed between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

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Are big box stores still open for in-person shopping?

In-person shopping at discount and big box stores is limited to shopping for grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, health care items, and personal care items only.

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Are restaurants open?

Restaurants bars, food trucks, concession stands, and other food or drink establishments may open only for the purpose of providing take-out, drive-through or delivery service. All indoor and outdoor dining is closed.

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 What are business owners responsible for?

All open businesses must:

  • 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 as required by O. Reg. 82/20 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 two 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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Can I go to a salon to get my hair or nails done?

No. All personal care services are closed. 

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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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What services remain open?

Permitted services include:

  • gas stations and other fuel suppliers
  • automated and self-service car washes
  • laundromats and drycleaners
  • snow clearing and landscaping services
  • security services for residences, businesses and other properties
  • domestic services to support children, seniors or vulnerable persons, including:
    • housekeeping
    • cooking
    • indoor and outdoor cleaning and maintenance services
  • courier, postal, shipping, moving and delivery services
  • funeral and related services
  • staffing services including providing temporary help
  • veterinary services and other businesses that provide pet services and for the health and welfare of animals, including:
    • farms
    • boarding kennels
    • stables
    • animal shelters
    • research facilities
    • pet groomers
    • pet sitters
    • pet walkers
    • pet trainers (including for service animals)

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Can I attend a religious service, wedding or funeral?

Yes. Indoor and outdoor gatherings for the purposes of a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite or ceremony is permitted provided the number of persons does not exceed 10. Physical distancing of 2 metres minimum must be maintained, and guests must comply with all public health guidance.

Social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions are prohibited, except for with members of the same household or with one other person from outside that household who lives alone.

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

Virtual services are permitted.

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Can I go to the theatre?

No. Performing arts and cinemas, including concert venues and theatres are closed.

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

Short Term Rental accommodations may only be provided to individuals who are in need of housing after the operator obtains the necessary approval of the Town.

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Can I go to the gym?

No. Indoor sport and recreational fitness facilities, including gymnasiums, health clubs, arenas, exercise studios, yoga and dance studios and other fitness facilities, are closed in Shutdown (with limited exceptions such as childcare, and access to physical therapy for people with disabilities).

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Are Town play structures, skatepark, etc., open for use?

Currently, all Town playgrounds, trails and green spaces are open for the purposes of outdoor exercise, including walking a pet. Please note that playgrounds are not being sanitized. Use of playgrounds, trails and green spaces must be done in compliance with all Provincial Orders and Public Health guidance. Persons are required to maintain a safe physical distance of 2 metres from anyone outside of members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone.

All other outdoor amenities such as baseball diamonds, basketball courts, outdoor exercise equipment, pavilions, pickleball/tennis courts, picnic tables, and soccer nets are closed.

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

It is illegal to gather indoors with anyone you do not live with.

Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events are prohibited, except for with members of the same household.

Individuals who live alone, including seniors and single parents, may consider having exclusive, close contact with one other household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation.

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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 travel?

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly advises that residents avoid all non-essential travel. Further, the Shutdown Zone states that you should not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary. For more information, please visit travel.gc.ca/travel-covid.

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Are leisure drives permitted?

Staying home is still the best way to protect yourself and others. Under the Stay-at-Home Order, residents must remain home at all times, and only leave for essential purposes, such as:

  • Going to the grocery store or pharmacy
  • Accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated)
  • Outdoor exercise or walking pets in your community
  • Going to work that cannot be done remotely
  • Going to child care

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Where can I exercise outside in Niagara-on-the-Lake?

During the Stay-at-Home Order, outdoor municipal trails and green spaces are open for use for the purpose of outdoor exercise, including walking a pet.

Use of trails and green spaces must be done in compliance with all Provincial Orders and Public Health guidance. Persons are required to maintain a safe physical distance of 2 metres from anyone outside of members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone.

Click here for a list of local parks and park amenities.

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Can I play tennis/pickleball?

No. Tennis and pickleball courts are currently closed as per Provincial Regulations.

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Will the public washrooms downtown remain open for use?

Yes. The public washrooms located on Market Street, and in Simcoe Park, Queens Royal Park, and Virgil Sports Park are currently open for public use 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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Is local transit still running?

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

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Can I still pick up items at the doors of the Town Administrative Building?

Yes. Curbside pickup for essential items such as garbage and recycling containers will continue to be provided. If required, please email info@notl.com or call 905-468-3266 to arrange for a curbside pickup.

To see a complete outline of how the Provincewide Shutdown and Stay-at-Home Order impact Town buildings, facilities and amenities, click here.

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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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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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