Covid-19 Current Status, shutdown province wide

COVID-19 – Stay-at-Home
Frequently Asked Questions

Last Edited/Reviewed: 11:42 p.m., April 20, 2021

These Frequently Asked Question do not constitute legal advice. To ensure legal compliance with all applicable provincial regulations, individuals and businesses should consult the Orders currently in force under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act and/or obtain legal advice.


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  1. What is a Stay-at-Home Order?
  2. What is considered an essential reason?
  3. Is there a limit on the number of times someone can leave their home in a day?
  4. How long is the Stay-at-Home Order in effect?
  5. Why is the Stay-at-Home Order needed?
  6. How is the Stay-at-Home Order being enforced?
  7. How many people are allowed to gather indoors during the Stay-at-Home Order?
  8. How many people are allowed to gather outdoors during the Stay-at-Home Order?
  9. Can people leave home to exercise during the Stay-at-Home Order?
  10. Can I go outside for a walk or go to a park during the Stay-at-Home Order?
  11. Is a housekeeper still allowed in my home during the Stay-at-Home Order?
  12. Are restaurants still open for takeout and delivery during the Stay-at-Home Order?
  13. Can I get my car serviced or buy a new vehicle during the Stay-at-Home Order?
  14. Can I go to my cottage or secondary residence during the Stay-at-Home Order?
  15. Are wedding services allowed during the Stay-at-Home Order?
  16. Are funeral services allowed during the Stay-at-Home Order?
  17. If a religious service allowed to take place during the Stay-at-Home Order?
  18. Are schools open during the provincial shutdown and stay at home order?
  19. How long will schools remain closed?
  20. Is child care open during the provincial shutdown and stay at home order?

1. What is a Stay-at-Home Order?

The Stay-at-Home Order is an Order filed under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The Order requires members of the public to stay at/in their place of residence and only leave for essential reasons.

2. What is considered an essential reason?

Essential reasons are for necessities, such as:

  • getting food or medication
  • going to medical appointments
  • supporting vulnerable community members
  • child care
  • attending school or a post-secondary institution
  • going to a bank
  • accessing government services
  • getting outdoor exercise or walking pets
  • going to work, if you can’t do it remotely

When you leave your home for an essential reason, continue to follow all public health measures:

  • Maintain a minimum of 2 metres physical distance from those outside your household.
  • Do not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary (e.g. medical appointment).
  • Wash hands frequently or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Wear a mask/face covering that is tightly fitted to cover the nose, mouth, and chin.
  • Stay home if you are unwell, even with minor symptoms.
  • Download the COVID Alert app to your hand-held device.

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3. Is there a limit on the number of times someone can leave their home in a day?

No, however anytime you leave your home it should be for essential reasons only. This means that the reason for leaving must be absolutely necessary.

4. How long is the Stay-at-Home Order in effect?

The Provincial Stay-at-Home Order is in effect until rescinded by the Province of Ontario.

5. Why is the Stay-at-Home Order needed?

The Provincial Stay-at-Home Order is an Order Stay-at-Home Order was needed due to an alarming increase in COVID-19 illness and death across the province. Escalating case counts have led to increasing hospitalization rates and ICU occupancy which has resulted in further disruptions to scheduled surgeries and procedures. The Provincial Stay-at-Home Order Stay-at-Home Order was implemented as urgent action to significantly reduce the number of contacts people are having, in order to:

  • Prevent extensive illness and death
  • Protect our health care system; and
  • Resume in-person learning in schools.

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6. How is the Stay-at-Home Order being enforced?

Public Health Inspectors, Police, and Provincial Offences Officers will enforce the Stay-at-Home Order and the Regulations under the Reopening Ontario Act. Enforcement in the Peterborough Public Health area will be conducted based on complaints received. If necessary, charges will be laid with fines ranging from $750 to $1000. Officers will require individuals to identify themselves, close a premise if there are grounds to believe a gathering is occurring, and require individuals to disperse if a gathering is observed.  Click here to learn more about how to submit a complaint. Click here to learn more from the Peterborough Police Service.

7. How many people are allowed to gather indoors during the Stay-at-Home Order?

Only members of the same household (people you live with) are allowed to be indoors at your home. Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation. At this time, indoor social gatherings are prohibited.

8. How many people are allowed to gather outdoors during the Stay-at-Home Order?

Indoors and outdoors: not allowed, except with:

  • members of your household
  • one other person from outside of the household that lives alone

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9. Can people leave home to exercise during the Stay-at-Home Order?

Yes, outdoor exercise is considered an essential reason for leaving your home. Additionally, the Stay-at-Home Order permits individuals to access a recreational amenity that is permitted to be open for the purpose of exercise, however, this should be done individually, or with members of your household only. Travelling outside the Peterborough Public Health region for exercise is discouraged at this time.

10. Can I go outside for a walk or go to a park during the Stay-at-Home Order?

Going outside for exercise is listed as an essential reason to leave your home. This includes walking your dog, running and going to the park Click here to learn more about safe activities during COVID-19.

11. Is a housekeeper still allowed in my home during the Stay-at-Home Order?

Domestic services like housekeeping, cooking, indoor and outdoor cleaning and maintenance services are allowed but only to support children, seniors and vulnerable persons.

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12. Are restaurants still open for takeout and delivery during the Stay-at-home Order?

Restaurants and bars remain open for takeout, drive-thru, and delivery only.

13. Can I get my car serviced or buy a new vehicle during the Stay-at-Home Order?

Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services are available by appointment only. The same applies to the sale of all motor vehicles. However, with the Stay-at-Home Order in effect, the intent of having vehicle sales open is only for those who find themselves in a situation where it is essential to purchase a new vehicle. It must be a need, not a want.

14. Can I go to my cottage or secondary residence during the Stay-at-Home Order?

Only emergency maintenance to a secondary residence is allowed at this time, unless you are transitioning over to stay longer than 14 days. Click here to learn more.

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15. Are wedding services allowed during the Stay-at-Home Order?

Yes. A wedding service is allowed for:

  • Indoors or outdoors: 10 people
  • Receptions are not permitted indoors or outdoors, except with members of the same household (the people you live with) or with one other person from outside of the household that lives alone
  • Drive-in services permitted

Anyone attending a wedding service must maintain 2 metres of physical distance from anyone who is not from the same household and requirements for face coverings/masks still apply.

Food service must comply with shutdown regulations and can only be purchased for takeout, delivery, or drive-through. Reception venues are closed at this time.

16. Are funeral services allowed during the Stay-at-Home Order?

Yes. A funeral service is allowed for:

  • Indoors or outdoors: 10 people
  • Social gatherings before or after the funeral service are not permitted indoors or outdoors, except with members of the same household (the people you live with) or with one other person from outside of the household that lives alone
  • Drive-in services permitted

Anyone attending a funeral service must maintain 2 metres of physical distance from anyone who is not from the same household and requirements for face coverings/masks still apply.

17. If a religious service allowed to take place during the Stay-at-Home Order?

Yes. A religious service is allowed for:

  • Indoors or outdoors: 10 people
  • Social gatherings before or after the religious service are not permitted indoors or outdoors, except with members of the same household (the people you live with) or with one other person from outside of the household that lives alone
  • Drive-in services permitted

Anyone attending a religious service must maintain 2 metres of physical distance from anyone who is not from the same household and requirements for face coverings/masks still apply.

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18. Are schools open during the provincial shutdown and stay at home order?

With appropriate measures in place, schools have been safe places for learning throughout the pandemic and locally we have had low rates of in-school transmission. However, increasing rates of community spread pose a threat to the health and safety of school communities across the province. As a result, all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools in the province will shift to teacher-led remote learning when students return from the April break on April 19, 2021.

Some schools will remain open to provide in-person instruction for students with special education needs who require additional support that cannot be accommodated through remote learning.

19. How long will schools remain closed?

The safety of our students, staff, and entire school community is a priority. Trends throughout the province and events of community spread will be closely monitored provincially to determine when schools can resume in-person instruction.

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20. Is child care open during the provincial shutdown and stay at home order?

Child care for non-school aged children will remain open, before and after school programs will be closed and free emergency child care for the school-aged children of eligible health care and frontline workers will be provided. Families can indicate they are an essential worker and register for emergency child care at OneHSN.com/Peterborough.

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