Skip to Main Content Health Care Professionals

ALERT: We are currently experiencing a very high volume of calls regarding coronavirus (COVID-19). Please be patient, your call will be returned.

Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit Search
  • Home
  • FAQs: COVID-19 enforcement

FAQs: COVID-19 enforcement

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about what is – and isn’t – allowed under the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act, or by provincial or other order.

As of Friday, July 24, Haldimand and Norfolk will be entering stage 3. Learn more. 

To notify our enforcement team of an issue in the community, please call 519-428-8019.

Other people are having a few people over, is this allowed?

 

Effective September 19, 2020, gathering limits for an event held at a residential setting are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.  People must still practice physical distancing, by keeping at least 2 metres away from others who are not from the same household or social circle.

There are a group of neighbours talking in one of their driveways, is this allowed?

While gatherings up to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors are permitted, physical distancing is strongly recommended at all times.

My child's other parent/guardian is not following social distancing rules. What should I do?

 

We recognize some children live in more than one household. Visiting with non-household individuals, including other family members, is strongly discouraged for non-essential purposes. If it is necessary it should be from a safe distance.  In the event a custody dispute arises, please contact your legal counsel for advice.

What are landscapers allowed to do?

 

As of May 4, 2020,  landscapers are now considered an essential service and are permitted to provide any services that they typically provide.

What services can pool companies do?

 

Pool companies are considered an essential service and are permitted to provide any services that they typically provide.

 Are greenhouses allowed to be open and do they have to be curbside?

 

As of May 8, 2020 garden centres and nurseries will be allowed to be open and are allowed to have customers enter to purchase and pay for products much like grocery stores.

Are parks and trails open?

 

Yes, parks and trails are open for use. Please practice safe physical distancing while using these areas, and do not gather outdoors in groups larger than 25.

Where can I fish?

 

Provided physical distancing, gathering restrictions and applicable fishing legislation (e.g. catch limits) is adhered to, shore fishing may resume from properties that are open to the public and allowing persons to do so.  People are encouraged to visit conservation authority and provincial park websites to find out which of their properties are open.

Can I boat?

 

Yes, and marinas are now permitted to open when they are ready, and both Haldimand and Norfolk have opened their marinas and boat launches. Check with your specific marina for details. 

What workplaces are considered essential by the Ontario Government?

 

The province of Ontario’s list of essential workplaces can be found here.

I'm a photographer - can I open my business now?

Effective June 19, 2020, all photograph services including portrait, aerial, special event, commercial and industrial photography can reopen.

Physical distancing must be maintained between all individuals whenever possible and must be taken into consideration when organizing the layout of the set.

Can I visit/have a yard sale?

 

The Health Unit strongly discourages yard or garage sale at this time. It will be difficult to control gatherings and maintain the necessary physical distancing, increasing the risk of COVID-19 community spread. Instead, the Health Unit strongly recommends selling items through trusted online means and contactless pick up. Those purchasing used items should clean and disinfect them prior to use (e.g. wash used clothing, clean and disinfect tools, furniture, etc.) and should avoid purchasing any used items that cannot be cleaned or disinfected.

Can I go camping or stay at my trailer park?

 

As of Friday June 19, 2020, campgrounds will be able to open to the public.  Physical distancing rules and mass gathering restrictions will have to be complied with throughout the campgrounds.

Can I go golfing?

 

Golf courses and driving ranges are open at this time.

What should businesses be doing to keep staff and customers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic?

 

The province of Ontario has developed a number sector-specific guidelines for businesses to follow to keep their staff and customers safe.  Employers are also responsible to ensure the Occupational Health and Safety Act is adhered to in their workplace.

Can I stay at my cottage or other secondary residence in Haldimand or Norfolk Counties?

 

On May 16, 2020, the Medical Officer of Health rescinded the order prohibiting occupancy of a secondary residence for those residing outside of Haldimand or Norfolk. However, the Health Unit continues to ask people to postpone non-essential travel. If travel to your secondary residence is absolutely necessary, please bring your own groceries and fuel up your vehicle in your home community.

 

What outdoor amenities are open? Which are closed?

 

Outdoor amenities that are open:

  • Off-leash dog areas
  • Open space areas, parks, trails, and sports fields, are open for walk through or similar use only; sports fields are closed for team sports
  • Park benches and shelters, picnic sites
  • Low-contact sports amenities for tennis, badminton, pickle ball and ping pong
  • Two metre physical distancing must be maintained and groups of greater than ten are prohibited, except for those in the same household
  • Playgrounds, play structures and equipment
  • Fitness equipment

Are pools and splash pads open?
 

As per the framework for reopening the province of Ontario in Stage 3, the following guidelines for recreational water facilities must be followed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

  • All indoor and outdoor swimming pools, outdoor splash pads, spray pads, whirlpool, wading pools and water slides may be open to the public, permitted there the operator can ensure all washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms, showers or similar amenities as well as all equipment that is rented to or provided to the public are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
  • Water parks, steam rooms, saunas and bathhouses are not permitted to reopen in Stage 3.
  • Change rooms and showers can be accessed by the public provided operators can adequately sanitize and disinfect these facilities.
  • Persons at the facility shall maintain physical distance of 2 m at all times.

 For further information regarding Stage 3 reopening, please access Ontario Governments Website

 

For additional resources regarding your business, access the swimming pools and spa section of our website and the Lifesaving Society’s resource regarding reopening of pools and waterfronts.

 

The Ontario Regulation 565 requires owners and operators of recreational water facilities to provide written notification to the Medical Officer of Health of any opening of a new public recreational water facility, after any construction/alteration or if an existing recreational water facility has been closed for more than four weeks. Please see attached letter outlining the regulation and steps required to open your facility.

 

All notifications to the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit regarding recreational water facility opening dates must be completed in writing using the attached form. The form must be completed and returned to the Health Unit.

 

Updates regarding outdoor pools and splash pads ran by your municipality can be found on the Haldimand and Norfolk County websites.

Where can I stay if I visit Haldimand or Norfolk Counties?

 

On June 5, 2020,  public health order prohibiting short-term rentals was revoked.

Accommodation owners should consult health and safety guidelines related to the tourism and hospitality sector when considering how they can reopen their doors to guests.

Operators and guests should continue to practice physical distancing and wash hands frequently to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Are beaches open?

 

: As of Friday, June 19, 2020 beaches in Haldimand and Norfolk will be open with the exception of Port Dover Beach, which will remain closed until further notice.

Everyone who attends the beach must maintain physical distancing and must ensure the gathering does not exceed 25 people.

Can I sit on the patio at a food premise (e.g. take-out food, food truck, bar, restaurant)?

 

As of Friday, June 19 2020, food premises like food trucks, restaurants and bars are allowed to provide take-out, delivery or outdoor dining services.  As of July 24, 2020, they are also allowed to provide indoor dining provided the tables are configured to so that patrons seated at different tables are at least 2 metres apart or separated by an impermeable barrier.

 

Can I attend church?

 

Effective Friday, June 12, 2020,  all places of worship in Ontario will be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 percent of the room capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.

 

Should everyone wear a mask when inside a business?

The province of Ontario has included mask use in the provincial Reopening Ontario Act , 2020.

Mask use is mandatory for every individual who is in an enclosed area of a space that members of the public has access to.  Masks are also mandatory for every enclosed area of a workplace or organization where employees cannot maintain 2 metres physical distance.

For more information please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200364

 

What is the occupancy limits for businesses?

 

Operators are required to limit the number of persons in their place of business or facility so that every member of the public is able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the business or facility with considerations for those in the same household or social circle/party not requiring two metres distance from each other.

 

How many people can I have at my event?

Provincial Gathering Limits (Oct 16)

 

TYPE OF EVENT

For all events, individuals who reside in the same household or are part of the same social circle do not have to maintain a 2 metre physical distance from each other.

LOCATION
RESIDENTIAL SETTING

Held at a home or residential setting including apartment buildings, condos, or student residences

BUSINESS OR FACILITY SETTING

Held at a business or facility where the property operator CAN ensure applicable rules applicable are followed*

 

Limits for special gatherings:

Wedding services, funeral services, religious ceremonies

INDOORS: 10 people (physical distancing recommended)

 

OUTDOORS: 25 people (physical distancing recommended)

INDOORS: Up to a maximum of 30% capacity of the room ensuring each person can maintain a 2 Metre physical distance from individuals who are not from the same household or social circle.

 

OUTDOORS: Up to a maximum of 100 people ensuring each person can maintain a 2 Metre physical distance from individuals who are not from the same household or social circle.

Limits for all other events:

Parties, functions, dinners, BBQ’s, funeral and wedding receptions, convention and hall meetings, recreational or performing art events etc.

INDOORS: 10 people (physical distancing recommended)

 

OUTDOORS: 25 people (physical distancing recommended)

INDOORS: Up to a maximum of 50 people ensuring each person would be able to maintain 2 Metre physical distance.

 

OUTDOORS: Number of people that can maintain 2 metre physical distance up to a maximum of 100 people

 

*Gathering limits set out above would not apply to a rental of meeting or event space that is in compliance with a plan for the rental of space approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Applicable rules for events or gathering held at a business or facility include but may not be limited to:

  • Rules and regulations surrounding gathering limits
  • Physical distancing requirements
  • All other public health officials’ recommendations, advice or instructions regarding physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting.
  • Applicable mask use

 

 

 

Is live music and dancing permitted in restaurants and bars?

 

Dancing is still not permitted.

 

Members of the public can sing or perform music at the establishment if,

  • They are not singing or performing music in a private karaoke room;
  • They are separated from every other person, including other performers, by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier while singing or while performing on a brass or wind instrument;
  • They maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres form every other person while singing or performing music; and
  • Any equipment used by members of the public while singing or performing music is cleaned and disinfected between each use.

 

A person or group under contract with the establishment may dance, sign or perform music if,

  • If total number of spectators doesn’t exceed 50 people at an indoor event and 100 people at an outdoor event.
  • Singers and players of brass or wind instruments are separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
  • Individuals maintain 2 metres physical distance from every other person, except for in certain situations.

For more information please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200364

 

How should tables be laid out in restaurants and bars?

The establishment must be configured so that patrons seated at different tables are separated by,

  • a distance of at least two metres, or
  • Plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier

 

What are the requirements for gyms?

 

  • Everyone attending must practice physical distancing
  • Capacity is during activities and classes is limited to 1) ensuring there is enough space to allow for physical distancing, and 2) max of 50 if indoors, 100 if outdoors
  • Capacity in areas containing weights or exercise machines is limited to 1) ensuring there is enough space to allow for physical distancing, and 2) max of 50 persons
  • All rented or shared equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between each use. Fixed structures that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between each use must not be accessible to patrons.
  • Steam rooms and saunas are to remain closed.

What is allowed for team sports?

 

  • Are only allowed to be played if they do not permit physical contact between players or have been modified to avoid physical contact between players.
  • Sport Leagues can only operate team sports if the league contains no more than 50 players and does not permit its teams to play against teams outside of the league or if the league divides its teams into groups of 50 or fewer players and does not permit teams in different groups to play against one another or against teams outside of the league.
  • Rented or shared equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between each use, or if used in a game or practice after the game or practice is complete.

How many people are allowed to go to the movie theatre?

 

  • A maximum of 50 people are allowed in the building at one time.

What is allowed for performing arts?

 

  • If indoors the total number of spectators permitted must not be more than 50
  • If outdoors the total number of spectators permitted must not be more than 100.
  • All performers or employees must maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from every other person.
  • Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.

How many spectators can be at a racing venue?

 

  • If the event is indoors the venue must ensure that each person can maintain 2 metres physical distancing but cannot exceed 50 spectators.
  • If the event is outdoors the venue must ensure that each person can maintain 2 metres physical distancing but cannot exceed 100 spectators.

 

What is still not allowed?

 

Currently these activities will not be permitted:

  • Amusement parks and water parks
  • Buffet-style food services
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements
  • Overnight stays at camps for children
  • Private karaoke rooms
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bathhouses and oxygen bars
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments