What Will Be Open and What Will Be Closed in Ontario During the COVID-19 Lockdown?

Lockdown for COVID-19

Thunder Bay – COVID-19 Update – From December 26, 2020 to January 9, 2021 in Western and Northern Ontario, and until January 23, 2021 in Southern Ontario, there are mandatory lockdowns to stem the COVID-19 virus from spreading.

Here is the latest updates on what is open, and what is closed.

Closed in Ontario

Education Facilities

  • Most in-person education at post-secondary institutions has been prohibited.
  • Publicly-funded schools in northern Ontario are closed until Jan. 11.
  • Publicly-funded schools in southern Ontario will be closed for at least two weeks. Elementary students will take part in virtual learning until at least Jan. 11, while secondary students will learn remotely until Jan. 25.
  • Day camps are closed

Restaurants and Bars

The basics are there is no sit-down dining. Businesses can do take-out, pick-up, drive-through or delivery only.

  • Indoor dining and outdoor at restaurants and bars has been prohibited.
  • Night clubs and strip clubs are only permitted to open if they operate as a food or drink establishment, in which case they would only be allowed to provide takeout, pickup or delivery.

Retail Closures

The retail sector for physical shopping is closed. There are a few exceptions. Some major stores are closing to the public, this includes Canadian Tire stores which will offer online shopping or curb side pickup only.

  • General retail stores, including hardware stores, pet food stores, computer stores and clothing stores are closed to in-person shopping. Curbside pickup is allowed.
  • Malls are closed to in-person shopping, but curbside pickup is allowed, as well as access to businesses allowed to open under lockdown.
  • Cannabis retail stores and garden centres can only open for curbside pick up or delivery.
  • Outdoor markets, including holiday-themed events, are closed unless they primarily sell food.

Services Sector Closures

  • Meeting spaces for public gatherings are closed.
  • In-person driving instructions are prohibited, with exceptions for those in need a licence for a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Animal training facilities are closed, with exceptions for service animals.
  • Seasonal campgrounds are closed to general public. Campgrounds may only be available for trailers and recreational vehicles used by individuals in need of housing or who have a contract. Campsites must have electricity, water service and facilities for sewage disposal.

Real Estate

  • Open houses have been prohibited, properties may be shown by appointment only.

Entertainment / Music and Theatre

  • Drive-in or drive-through events are prohibited.
  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas may only open for rehearsals, performing a recorded or broadcasted concert or artistic performance. No more than 10 performers are allowed on stage at one time.

Fitness and Training

  • All indoor and outdoor sports and recreational fitness facilities will be closed, with exceptions for those being used by “high performance athletes”.
  • Ski hills must close.
  • All locker rooms, change rooms and showers at clubhouses are closed.
  • Horse racing open for training only, no members of the public.

Additional Closures in Ontario

  • Community centres will remain open only for child care, mental health and addiction services or social services.
  • Museums and cultural amenities are closed.
  • Zoos and aquariums are closed to the public, open only for care of animals.
  • Amusement parks and water parks are closed.
  • Tour and guide services are closed.
  • Motorsports are closed.
  • Personal care services are prohibited.
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments are closed.

Media Sector Closures

  • Photography retail studios are closed.
  • No studio audiences permitted on film or television sets.
  • Singers or players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from other performances by plexiglass or a barrier.

Open in Ontario


  • Post-secondary clinics or trades
  • Child care


  • Open for takeout, delivery or curbside pickup only.

Retail Businesses

  • Supermarkets, convenience stores and indoor farmer’s markets are open for in-person shopping at 50 per cent capacity.
  • Pharmacies are open with 50 per cent capacity.
  • Discount and big box retailers who sell groceries to the public, with 25 per cent capacity in a room.
  • Safety supply stores or businesses that sell, rent or repair mobility, medical or assistive devices are open by appointment only.
  • Liquor and beer stores, with 25 per cent capacity
  • Motor vehicle sales open by appointment only.

Agriculture and Food Production

  • Businesses that produce, manufacture or distribute food and beverage, including agricultural products, may remain open.


  • All construction activities and services will be allowed to continue.

Service Industry

  • Weddings, funerals and other religious services limited to 10 people indoors, 10 people outdoors. Virtual and drive-in services, rites and ceremonies permitted.
  • Supply chains, including businesses that work in processing, packaging, warehousing, distribution, delivery, and maintenance.
  • Short-term rentals – only to be provided to individuals “who are in need of housing.”
  • Meeting and event spaces open only for operation of child care, court services, government sources, mental health and addiction support services, social services.
  • Manufacturing businesses will remain open.
  • Rental and leasing services, including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery or equipment.
  • Gas stations and fuel suppliers.
  • Automated and self-service car washes.
  • Laundromats and drycleaners.
  • Snow cleaning and landscaping services.
  • Security services for residences, business and other properties.
  • Domestic services only to support children, seniors or vulnerable persons.
  • Vehicle and equipment repair by appointment only.
  • Courier, postal, shipping, moving and delivery services.
  • Staffing services including providing temporary help.
  • Veterinary services only for immediate health needs, as well as service animal training, animal shelters.
  • Hotels, cottages, resorts and motels are open, but indoor pools and fitness centres are closed.
  • Telecommunication services, including Internet news, newspapers, radio and television broadcasting.
  • Maintenance, repair and property management that manage safety, security, sanitation and operation of properties.
  • Research facilities.

Public Libraries

  • Libraries are open for contactless curbside pickup or delivery. They are also open for child-care or supportive services, with a limit of 10 people.

Financial Sector

  • All facilities offering financial services, land registration services, pension and benefit payments will continue to operate.

Transportation Sector

  • Businesses and facilities that provide transportation services will remain operational.

Community services

Businesses that will remain open

  • Operations that deliver and support sewage treatment and disposal, potable drinking water, critical infrastructure, environmental rehabilitation.
  • Administrative authorities that regulate and inspect businesses will remain open.
  • Professional and social services will remain open.
  • Government services, including policing and law enforcement.
  • Community gardens will remain open.

Fitness and Training Facilities

  • Facilities being used by professional sports leagues may remain open.
  • Outdoor recreational amenities will remain open, including parks, baseball diamonds, sport fields, golf courses, cycling tracks, horse riding facilities, shooting ranges, ice rinks, cross country and snowmobile trails, tobogganing.

Health care and social services

  • Most health-care providers are allowed to stay open, including providers of home care services, regulated health professionals, in-person counselling and mental health and addiction supports.
  • Laboratories and pharmaceutical producers, manufacturers and distributors will remain open.

Media Industries

  • Sound recording, production, publishing and distribution businesses can open.
  • Film and television production, with no more than 10 performers on set at one given time.
  • Film and television post production, visual effects and animations.
  • Book and periodical production, publishing and distribution.
  • Commercial and industrial photography.
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