OTTAWA -- You can once again dine-in at your favourite restaurant or bar, workout at a local gym and watch a movie at the cinema in the capital.

Ottawa and eastern Ontario enter Stage 3 of Ontario's COVID-19 regional reopening plan today, loosing restrictions put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

"I appreciate the province including Ottawa in Stage 3. It's a reward for good behaviour on the part of our citizens," said Mayor Jim Watson during an interview with CTV Morning Live.

"They've been stalwarts in terms of making sure they physical distance themselves from one another. I think a lot of people, particularly those in the hospitality industry, are looking forward to restaurants opening."

Stage 3 allows nearly all businesses in Ottawa and eastern Ontario to reopen, including bars and restaurants for indoor dining, gyms and fitness studios and movie theatres.   Personal support services can resume that involve a customers' face, such as facials and some piercings.

Playgrounds, community centres and libraries may also reopen.

The Ontario Government announced Monday that a number of high-risk businesses and activities are not yet safe to open, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning.  The list of businesses prohibited from reopening include:

  • 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, bath houses and oxygen bars
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments

Nightclubs are still banned from reopening, except for the purpose of serving food or drinks.


The Ontario Government says casinos can reopen, except for table games.

A message on the Rideau Carleton Casino website says, "While the province of Ontario and OLG have approved eligible casinos to reopen as of Friday July 17, our team continues their tireless work to ensure we are ready to reopen soon with the highest of standards of health and safety measures in place."

"We hope to have a reopening date to communicate with you as soon as possible."

Movie Theatres

Movie theatres are allowed to reopen today in Ottawa and eastern Ontario

Cine Starz Cinemas says its cinemas at 250 Centrum Blvd. and at St. Laurent Centre will open on Friday

The Mayfair Theatre will reopen on Friday, July 17

The Bytown Cinema told CTV Morning Live it is hoping to reopen on July 24

Cineplex says movie theatres in Ottawa and across Ontario will not reopen on Friday

Landmark cinema has not announced when movie theatres in Ottawa and Ontario will reopen


Goodlife Fitness in Ottawa will reopen on Friday, July 17

Fit 4 Less locations open in Ottawa on Friday, July 17

Movati Athletic says it will not reopen on Friday.

New gathering limits

Ontario is also increasing the limits for gatherings in indoor and outdoor spaces as Ottawa and eastern Ontario moves into Stage 3.

  • Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people
  • Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people

The Ontario Government says in all cases, individuals are required to continue to maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from people outside their households or social circles.

The social bubble limit for people to gather in your home remains at 10 people.

The government says convention centres, meeting and event spaces are subject to the physical distancing measures and gathering limits.