As the daily coronavirus case numbers continue to decrease, Toronto has officially been approved to begin Stage 2 of reopening its economy this week.
As of Wednesday, June 24, at 12:01 am, Toronto will enter the next stage of the Ontario government’s COVID-19 recovery plan, joining the 32 other public health regions that have already entered Stage 2.
During Stage 2 a significant number of new businesses will be allowed to reopen and resume services, including restaurant patios, hair salons, and malls.
As the City of Toronto prepares for the next stage of reopening, here’s a breakdown of everything that’s allowed to reopen:
Personal care services
Establishments providing personal care services can open with the proper health and safety protocols in place.
- Hair services (including barbershops, hair salons, hairdressers/stylists, colour consulting services, scalp treatment services, hair weaving services, and hair replacement services).
- Beauty salons, shops and parlours (including beauticians, estheticians, cosmetology shops or salons, manicure and pedicure salons)
- 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
Where physical distancing cannot be maintained, personal care service providers should ensure that patrons wear face coverings at all times and that workers wear face coverings and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves.
Personal care services must also take measures to enable physical distancing between patrons, such as limiting the number of people who may be in the business at any one time. Businesses should also consider operating by appointment and/or recording each patron’s name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.
Restrictions for personal care services include:
- Prohibiting services that tend to a customer’s face, such as facials, facial hair grooming, eyebrow grooming and makeup, as well as oxygen bars
- Steam rooms, saunas and bathhouses must remain closed
- Baths, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods are closed except for therapeutic purposes prescribed by or administered by a regulated health professional. Change rooms and showers for water amenities will be available to the public if operators have the ability to adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities
- For clarity, a business can open to offer other permitted services even if a restricted activity is its primary service (e.g., a facial salon can open to provide other services)
Businesses primarily engaged in providing other personal services can open with the proper health and safety protocols in place. All services must be provided with physical distancing of at least two metres. This includes:
- 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 (shining, repair)
- Check room services (coat check, suitcase storage)
- Wedding chapels
Personal services should use measures to enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of people who may be in the business at any one time. Businesses should also consider operating by appointment and/or record each patron’s name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.
Restaurants and bars
Restaurants, bars, food trucks, and other food and drink establishments such as wineries, breweries, and distilleries can open for dining in outdoor areas only, such as patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent premises.
Establishments must take appropriate measures to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres between patrons from different households, including:
- Using reservations
- Limiting number of patrons allowed in the outdoor space at one time
- Ensuring enough space between tables, including to allow for movement
- Access to indoor facilities is limited to patio/outdoor dining area access, food pickup, payment, washrooms or other health and safety purposes
- Liquor sales licensees who wish to temporarily extend the physical size of their existing licensed patio, or temporarily add a new licensed patio within the approved period are authorized to do so if all the following criteria are met:
- The physical extension of the premises is adjacent to the premises to which the licence to sell liquor applies.
- The municipality in which the premises is situated does not object to an extension.
- The licensee is able to demonstrate sufficient control over the physical extension of the premises.
- There is no condition on the liquor sales licence prohibiting a patio.
Shopping malls and centres
In addition to providing online, curbside pickup, and delivery services, all shopping centres, malls and markets may open. Stores in these facilities must follow the same guidelines as those set out for other retail services.
- Food services and restaurants with mall-only entrances may open for outdoor dining spaces, delivery and takeout. Dine-in at indoor food courts is prohibited
- Entertainment amenities not permitted in Stages 1 or 2, such as movie theatres and waterparks, remain closed
- Malls may need to institute the policies that were put in place by retail outlets that remained open as essential businesses or were permitted to reopen during Stage 1, including engineering and administrative controls, such as:
- Alternative operating hours to address increased cleaning demands
- Enhanced security and limiting entrances
- Creation and enforcement of walking traffic patterns
- Operating by appointment or reservation
- Limiting the number of people who may be in one business at any one time
- Restricting fitting room access and implementing cleaning process between fitting room customers
- General building management, including signage and hand sanitizer at the entrance of building, and removing gathering settings (benches)
Industry associations recommend that efforts to screen people for COVID-19 symptoms at shopping malls is best performed at the entry point of the shopping centre rather than at individual shops.
All photography studios and services, including portrait, aerial, special event, commercial, and industrial photography can reopen. Physical distancing must be maintained between all individuals on set whenever possible and must be taken into consideration when organizing the layout of the set.
Film and TV
All film and television production activities will be allowed to resume. Physical distancing must be maintained between all individuals on set whenever possible and must be taken into consideration when organizing the layout of the set.
Tour and guide services
Indoor and outdoor tour and guide services will be allowed to resume, including:
- Resource-based tours (hunting, fishing and similar excursions)
- Tastings and tours for operators of on-site retail stores at manufacturing sites (wineries, breweries and distilleries)
- Trail riding, walking and bike tours
- Motor vehicle and boat tours (for sightseeing)
Businesses should consider operating by appointment and/or record each patron’s name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing. Patrons must adhere to physical distancing measures and limits to public gatherings.
Equipment may be rented as needed as part of the tours. Equipment should be properly cleaned and disinfected in between rentals.
Access to production areas for tours of food and beverage manufacturing sites is permitted, as long as operators can follow workplace guidance and public health advice to ensure quality and cleanliness of products. Eating or drinking can occur in licensed outdoor spaces but is not permitted indoors.
Water recreational facilities
All indoor and outdoor swimming pools and outdoor splash pads and wading pools may open to the public with no access to high-contact aquatic features such as slides and climbing structures.
- This includes public pools as well as pools situated in hotels, motels, condo parks, resorts and other private facilities
- Waterparks, wave pools and water slides will not be permitted to reopen in Stage 2
- Change rooms and showers will be available to the public if operators can adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities
To ensure the safety of patrons and staff, the following measures should be taken:
- Persons in the place of business shall maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from each other at all times by reducing resting areas and pool capacity
- Limiting and distancing pool-side seating
- Timed entry (appointment only)
- Equipment rented or loaned must be disinfected or quarantined appropriately between uses
- Aquatic activities such as fitness classes and swim lessons must be in line with physical distancing measures. For example, only other household members can assist swimmers with physical contact
Outdoor recreational facilities
Outdoor-only recreational facilities that operate low-contact attractions and activities will be allowed to reopen. This includes activities such as:
- Archery ranges
- Go-cart tracks
- Other adventure activities
To ensure the safety of patrons and staff, the following measures should be taken:
- Locker rooms, change rooms, showers and clubhouses will remain closed, except to the extent they provide access to a washroom or a portion of the facility that is used to provide first aid
- Equipment rented, loaned or utilized for outdoor adventure elements (ladders, ziplines, hand cables) must be disinfected or quarantined appropriately between uses. Activities where equipment cannot be sanitized are not permitted
- Recreational activities or areas that do not allow for two-metre physical distancing between patrons are not permitted
- Indoor recreational activities are not permitted except for indoor driving ranges and rod and gun clubs
- Amusement parks and waterparks (including those attached to hotels) will remain closed
- Playgrounds, play structures and outdoor fitness equipment will remain closed
Beaches, parks, and camping
In Stage 2, Ontario Parks campgrounds and private campgrounds can open for recreational vehicles, car camping, and all other types of camping.
To ensure the safety of all campers, the following measures should be taken:
- Campers must adhere to social gathering size restrictions and maintain two-metre physical distancing with people outside their household and when outside of their campsites
- Beach access at Ontario Parks will be permitted as part of Ontario Parks’ gradual reopening, although measures including limited capacity will be taken at some parks to enable physical distancing
Outdoor recreational team sports
Outdoor team sports may resume, if physically distanced, for training only and with no scrimmages or games.
- This includes limited access to facilities (no locker rooms, no change rooms and no showers)
- Access to clubhouse and other amenities will be limited to washrooms, emergency aid and equipment management
Drive-in and drive-thru venues
All existing and new drive-in and drive-thru venues can open for a variety of purposes, such as theatres, concerts, animal attractions, and cultural appreciation, such as art installations.
- Food services are restricted to delivery to vehicles and drive-thru only
- Operators must have in place procedures for staff to ensure people remain in their cars except for using the washroom or in an emergency
- In addition to other workplace and public health measures, drive-ins and drive-thru venues should:
- Limit the number of vehicles and how they are parked to ensure physical distancing
- Ensure that any washrooms open for use are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary environment
Weddings, funerals, and similar gatherings
Venues not otherwise restricted can open to conduct wedding ceremonies, funerals and similar gatherings within existing public health restrictions.
- Events will be required to comply with limits for social gatherings of up to 10 people
- Dine-in and bar services must be in-line with the related guidelines and restrictions
- Indoor and outdoor venues may open for weddings, funerals and similar gatherings, with limited access to facilities
- Guests that are not part of the same household should follow physical distancing guidelines
All libraries can reopen with limited on-site services, such as computer access and contactless book pickup and drop-off.
However, patrons are not permitted to handle books or materials on shelves and libraries should operate in adherence to public health guidelines on physical distancing, capacity and hygiene procedures (disinfecting returns and high-touch areas like computers).
Community centres can reopen to the public with limited or modified on-site programs and services that follow workplace guidance and public health advice.
- Recreational activities are restricted at indoor facilities, but these spaces can be used for other programs and services
- Examples of physically distanced programs and services include in-person counselling, group counselling, computer access, education and tutoring
- Food services are restricted to takeout, delivery and outdoor dining spaces
- Indoor pools may open (see water recreational facilities)
- Access to locker rooms, change rooms, showers and communal kitchen areas is not allowed
Attractions and heritage institutions
Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, outdoor heritage institutions (landmarks, outdoor historic sites, botanical gardens), and other establishments primarily engaged in preserving and exhibiting objects, sites and natural wonders of historical, cultural and educational value are permitted to reopen with restrictions.
- Interactive and high-contact exhibits, amusement parks, water parks and conference centres will remain closed in Stage 2
- Lockers will remain closed
- The opening of commercial areas (restaurant, cafe, bookshop, gift shop) are subject to the related guidelines and restrictions
Persons in the place of business shall maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from each other at all times by enforcing timed entry, limiting the number of visitors allowed in at one time, managing visitor flow (one-way flow), and establishments should consider operating by appointment and/or record each patron’s name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.
Small outdoor events
Non-essential in-person gatherings of any size continue to be strongly discouraged. Small outdoor events, such as cultural celebrations, animal shows and fundraisers will be permitted in line with gathering-size restrictions, subject to local public health requirements.
- Event organizers should have in place measures to enable physical distancing for people when in the event space and while waiting to enter, such as one-way traffic, marked lineup areas, and timed entry and length of stay
- Large outdoor events, such as concerts, large festivals, parades and amusement fairs, are not permitted