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.

Click here to learn more about Ontario’s list of essential workplaces.

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 Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., regardless of where you live in Ontario, social gathering limits will be expanded to up to 10 people. People must still practice physical distancing, by keeping at least two metres away from others outside of their direct household. This change to social gathering size will apply to people across the province, regardless of whether their region has moved into Stage 2.

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


While gatherings up to ten people are now permitted, social distancing is strongly recommended at all times..

My ex-spouse is not following social distancing rules. What should I do?


The province has prohibited a social gathering of more than ten people, but this does not apply to a gathering of members of a single household, that is people who live in the same household. 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. It may be illegal if it involves more than ten people who do not reside in the same household. In the event a custody dispute arises, please contact your legal counsel for advice.

What are landscapers allowed to do?


As of May 4th, 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 (though not playground equipment) and trails are open for use. Please practice safe social distancing while using these areas, and do not gather in groups larger than ten.

Where can I fish?


Provided social distancing, gatherings of 10 or less 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. Please note: fishing will not permitted from properties closed to the public such as Port Dover pier and public beaches until Friday June 19. 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?

Effect June 19, 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.


Yard and garage sales that operate as a business (for example those who hold multiple yard or garage sales in a year or those who sell used good from multiple households) are not deemed essential by the province and must be closed at this time.

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?


As of Saturday, May 16, 2020, golf courses and outdoor golf driving ranges are open with restrictions as determined by the province. As of June 19, restaurants will be able to provide take-out, delivery, and outdoor dining. Clubhouses, pools, meeting rooms, fitness centres or other recreational facilities on the premises are to remain closed to the public.  Washrooms can be opened and take-out food service is allowed.

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

Outdoor amenities that are closed:

  • Playgrounds, play structures and equipment
  • Fitness equipment
  • Municipal washrooms

Are pools and splash pads open?

As per the framework for reopening the province of Ontario in Stage 2, 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, and wading pools may open to the public, permitted there is 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 are not permitted to reopen in Stage 2.
  • 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 2 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, 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 their group does not include more than ten 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. This means that people are not able to eat inside the location. All food premises should remove or block all inside seating and ensure social distancing requirements are being followed at all times.


Can I attend church?


Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.,  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.