OTTAWA -- Ontario is imposing new restrictions on interprovincial travel, outdoor social gatherings, essential retail and outdoor recreational amenities such as golf courses and playgrounds in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced "urgent actions" targeted at stopping the rapid growth in COVID-19 case rates late Friday afternoon.

"The new restrictions are difficult, but ultimately needed," said Mayor Jim Watson.

The mayor added the city will provide more information about the restrictions after staff receive briefings from Ontario government officials. 

"The steep rise in cases and hospitalizations in Ottawa and across Ontario are alarming. We're now in a situation where our hospitals and our medical community are stretched beyond their limits," said Watson Friday evening.

"Now is the time for more compassion and less anger, more cooperation and less irresponsibility by those few who continue to flout the rules."

The Ontario government extended the stay-at-home for an additional two weeks. The order, which went into effect on April 8, will now be in effect until at least May 20.

The new restrictions include:

  • Restricting interprovincial travel into Ontario from Manitoba and Quebec
  • Prohibit all outdoor social gatherings and organized public events
  • Close all non-essential workplaces in the construction sector
  • Reduce capacity limits to 25 per cent in all retail settings where in-store shopping is permitted, including supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies
  • Close all outdoor recreational amenities, such as golf courses, basketball courts, and soccer fields

Effective Monday, April 19, capacity for weddings, funerals and religious services, rites or ceremonies will be capped at a maximum of 10 people indoors and outdoors.

Premier Ford announced on Twitter Saturday afternoon that playgrounds will be allowed to remain open. No other details have been announced.

Ottawa Public Health had said earlier this week it was going to issue a Section 22 Class Order to impose new rules for capacity and mandatory masks around park amenities. Associate medical officer of health Dr. Brent Moloughney said public health will "pause" moving forward with new rules until they receive further directions from the province on parks.

Here is a look at what the stay-at-home order means for Ottawa.

Travel Restrictions

Starting Monday, Ottawa police will begin setting up checkpoints at the five interprovincial crossings between Ottawa and Gatineau. Ontario Provincial Police will set up checkpoints at interprovincial borders in eastern Ontario.

Exemptions for coming into Ontario are work, medical care, transportation of goods and exercising Indigenous treaty rights.


All events and social gatherings

Indoors: not allowed, except with members of your household (or one other household if you live alone)

Outside: All outdoor social gatherings and organized public events are prohibited, except with members of the same household or one other person who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of the household

You should only go out for necessities, such as:

  • work, if you can’t do it remotely
  • school
  • groceries
  • pharmacy
  • helping vulnerable people
  • exercise and physical activity

Religious, wedding and funeral services:

Indoors and outdoors: Ontario says effective April 19 at 12:01 a.m., capacity for weddings funerals and religious services, rites or ceremonies is limited to a maximum of 10 people indoors or outdoors.

Drive-in services will be permitted 

Bars, restaurants and other food and drink establishments  

  • Indoor and outdoor dining is prohibited;
  • Take-out, drive-thru and delivery service available.

Essential retail, including grocery stores

Effective Saturday, April 17, capacity limits reduced to 25 per cent in all retail settings where in-store shopping is permitted. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies.

Malls and non-essential stores

Non-essential retailers may operate for curbside pick-up and delivery between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Access to shopping malls is limited to specified purposes, including access for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment. One single designated location inside the shopping mall must be set-up for pick-up.

Stores at the following Ottawa malls will be open for curbside pickup only:

  • Bayshore Shopping Centre
  • Billings Bridge Shopping Centre
  • Carlingwood Shopping Centre
  • Place d'Orleans
  • Rideau Centre
  • St. Laurent Centre
  • Tanger Outlets

You can visit each mall’s website for more details.

Stores permitted to open

Ontario says the following stores are allowed to operate for in-person retail by appointment only, with a maximum 25 per cent capacity:

  • Safety supply stores
  • Businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, aids or supplies, mobility devices, aids or supplies or medical devices, aids or supplies
  • Rental and leasing services including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental
  • Optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public
  • Businesses that sell motor vehicles, boats and other watercraft
  • Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services
  • Retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or service, which may only permit members of the public to enter the premises to purchase a cellphone or for repairs or technical support.

Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Garden Centres

Outdoor garden centres, plant nurseries and indoor greenhouses are allowed to open.

Capacity is limited to 25 per cent

There will be a restriction on hours of operation

LCBO and Beer Store

The LCBO and the Beer Store are allowed to remain open, at a maximum capacity of 25 per cent.

Operating hours between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., with delivery allowed between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Cannabis stores

Stores are open for curbside pickup only, by appointment, between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Stores may provide delivery between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Businesses not permitted to open

  • Personal care services, including hair salons and nail salons
  • Gyms and fitness centres, as well as outdoor classes
  • Amusement parks, water parks
  • Bathhouses and sex clubs
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas (includes drive in or drive through events)
  • Day camps
  • Horse racing (open for training only, no races or spectators)
  • Motorsports
  • Museums and cultural amenities
  • Tour and guide services
  • Zoos and aquariums (permitted to operate for the care of animals).

Outdoor amenities

All outdoor recreational amenities such as golf courses, basketball courts and soccer fields, will be closed.

Effective Saturday, April 17, the following outdoor recreational amenities are closed:

  • All outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, including:
  1. baseball diamonds,
  2. soccer fields,
  3. frisbee golf locations,
  4. tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts,
  5. basketball courts,
  6. BMX parks, and
  7. skate parks.
  • All portions of park and recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment.
  • All outdoor picnic sites and picnic tables in park and recreational areas.

The city of Ottawa said Friday that Ottawa parks will remain open for walking through.

The Ontario government says an outdoor recreational amenity that is an off-leash dog area or park bench may be open. Anyone in a park, an off-leash dog area, or using a park bench must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any other person who is also using the amenity, other than a person who is a member of the same household, a member of one other household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of either household.

City of Ottawa services closed during the stay at home order

Ottawa's recreation and cultural facilities will close to the public, including recreation complexes, community centres, arenas, swimming pools, theatres, museums and art galleries

Outdoor refrigerated rinks will close: Rink of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall, Lansdowne Skating Court, Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink and Ben Franklin Place

City of Ottawa counter services and other in-person service suspended or altered

The City temporarily suspended in-person services, including:

Ottawa City Hall and Ben Franklin Place (101 Centrepointe Drive) Client Service Centres and Building Code Services counters. Client Services Centres will suspend current in-person counter services, which will move to online delivery. Building Code Services will continue to provide courier, curbside, email and telephone alternate service delivery options.

The Provincial Offences Act courthouse, located at 100 Constellation Drive, will remain closed.

The Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue will remain open for drop-off of documents only and clients can call 613-580-2424 ext.12735 or email

The city's Central Archives' Reference Room at the James K. Bartleman Centre, located at 100 Tallwood Drive.

Ottawa museums closed during the shutdown and stay-at-home order

  • Canadian War Museum
  • Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
  • Canada Aviation and Space Museum
  • Canada Science and Technology Museum
  • Canadian Museum of Nature
  • The Diefenbunker Museum
  • National Gallery of Canada
  • Ottawa Art Gallery