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Here's What You Can Actually Do During Ontario's New COVID-19 Restrictions

The province entered a modified Step Two on Wednesday.

Toronto Associate Editor
Here's What You Can Actually Do During Ontario's New COVID-19 Restrictions

Ontario officially moved into a modified Step Two of reopening on January 5 with (semi-) new COVID-19 restrictions in place.

This means indoor social gatherings have been reduced to five people, schools are switching to virtual learning for at least the next two weeks, and indoor dining and gyms are now temporarily closed.

But, since this is not a full-blown lockdown, there are still some things Ontarians can do until January 26, when the restrictions are currently expected to lift.

Here is what is still open across the province as per Ontario's current public health measures:

  • All retail stores — from essential to non-essential — are permitted to open but at 50% capacity
  • Take out, drive through, and delivery are still allowed at restaurants
  • Outdoor dining is also open, but no more than 10 people can sit at a table. Everyone must also stay seated and can't dance or sing, and there are limited hours for service and alcohol consumption
  • Personal care services like hair salons, barbershops, and tattoo parlours are open at 50% capacity and by appointment only
  • Outdoor recreational amenities are permitted to open
  • Theatres, concert venues, galleries, museums, zoos, science centres, historical sites and landmarks, botanical gardens, amusement and waterparks, fairs, festivals, tour and guide services, and rural exhibitions can only operate outdoors with some restrictions
  • Hotels, motels, and other similar short-term accommodations are still permitted to be open except for shared spaces like an indoor gym or pool. Hotel or motel restaurants are also open, but only for takeout or delivery.
  • Short-term rentals are also only available to those who are in need of housing, excluding motels, hotels, resorts, lodges, and other shared rental spaces like student residences
  • Libraries and community centres are open at 50% capacity with some exceptions for child care or social services
  • Driving classes are available, but only for in-person instruction for drivers of commercial motor vehicles
  • Outdoor horse and car racing tracks (and similar places) are also able to open with 50% of spectator capacity
  • While indoor areas at meeting and event spaces are closed, there are exceptions for child care, social services, health services, court and government services, collective bargaining and mental health or addiction services of up to 10 people, and in-person exams for certain occupations of up to 50 people

Ontarians can still meet with some loved ones as long no more than five people are gathered indoors and 10 people outdoors.

The government introduced these targeted measures due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant and a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

This article's right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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