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Government announcements reopening businesses across Canada

May 4, 2020

Last updated May 19, 2020

Our chart below summarizes the easing of workplace restrictions across federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions. For more information, see our “The Employer’s COVID-19 Return to the Workplace Playbook” and our “COVID-19 Quick-Reference Considerations for Employers” that provides quick-reference strategies for managing the COVID-19 crisis.

Reopening of Workplaces Across Canada


Timeline for Reopening



Guiding framework on reopening economies across Canada released on April 28

On April 28, Prime Minister Trudeau released a joint statement with premiers across Canada on their shared public health approach to support restarting the economy.

Governments will make decisions suited to their jurisdictions, geography, and disease activity, but will continue to collaborate with one another. The federal, provincial and territorial governments will ease restrictions gradually while protecting the health of Canadians and high-risk groups in particular and ensuring public health capacity remains strong.

The framework is guided by the following principles:

  • Science and evidence-based decision-making
  • Coordination and collaboration across governments
  • Accountability and transparency
  • Flexibility and proportionality

First Ministers agree that the following public health criteria should inform decisions on restarting the economy:  a stabilisation in the number of hospitalisations and/or new cases, with the possible exception of isolated outbreak; existence of sufficient public health capacity to test, trace, and isolate all cases, as well as expanded health care capacity for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients; and supports in place for vulnerable communities.

British Columbia

Reopening will begin in phases:

Phase 1: Current state of emergency and state of public health emergency

Phase 2: Beginning in Mid-May

  • May 19: Scheduled surgeries to resume
  • May 19: Personal service businesses and restaurants reopen

Phase 3: Between June and September 2020

  • June 2020: Hotels, resorts, broader reopening of parks; film industry
  • July 2020: Movies and symphonies
  • September 2020: partial reopening of educational institutions

Phase 4: No timeline announced to date


On April 27, the guidance for essential retail food businesses and grocery stores was cited as an example of the approach BC will take moving forward to ensure appropriate physical distancing and proper hygiene. Measures include:

  • Physical distancing measures, including physical queue line controls and placing one-way arrows on the floor so that customers move in one direction
  • Disinfecting high-touch surfaces and placing hand sanitizer near doors, pay stations and other high-touch areas
  • Calculating and maintaining the maximum number of people in a store to support physical distancing

On May 6, British Columbia released its Restart Plan, a four-phase approach to starting the economy. As the last province to announce a reopening framework, British Columbia emphasized that its reopening plan is different than other jurisdictions because only a small number of sectors in the province were closed.

Phase One: The current state of  emergency and state public health emergency in the province.

Phase Two:

  • Small social gatherings will be permitted
  • Child care providers may reopen
  • A resumption of elective surgeries and regulated health services like physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropractors and in-person counselling will reopen
  • Provincial parks will reopen for day use, currently scheduled to begin on May 14; parks, beaches and outdoor spaces will reopen
  • The retail sector, personal service establishments and office-based worksites will reopen
  • Restaurants, cafes and pubs may reopen with distancing measures in place.
  • The provincial legislature will be recalled for regular sittings

In Phase Two, d all employers must develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan and post the plan in their workplace and on their website, if one exists. Employers must present a copy of their COVID-19 Safety Plan to a health office or WorkSafeBC officer upon request.

 WorkSafeBC is developing industry-specific guidance to ensure workplaces reopen safely. Any business restarting operations must comply with the provincial health officer’s orders and occupational health and safety guidance provided by WorkSafeBC. The province has published two resources providing detailed information on the “new normal” for workplaces, the BC COVID-19 Go-Forward Management Strategy and the BC COVID-19 Go-Forward Management Checklist.

Phase Three:

  • Hotels and resorts may reopen
  • Provincial parks will have a broader reopening, including some overnight camping
  • The film industry may reopen, beginning with domestic productions
  • Entertainment venues offering movies and symphonies may reopen, but large concerts remain prohibited
  • Post-secondary education will recommence with a mix on online and in-person classes
  • Elementary and secondary schools will have a partial return this school year

Phase Four:

  • Activities requiring large gatherings such as conventions, live audience professional sports and concerts
  • International tourism can recommence

On May 4, the BC Ministry of Health outlined key principles going forward:

  • Staying informed, being prepared and following public health advice
  • Practicing good hygiene, including hand hygiene, avoiding touching face, respiratory etiquette, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
  • Staying at home and away from others if feeling ill – not going to school/work
  • Maintaining physical distancing outside the household
  • Making necessary contact safer with appropriate controls
  • Increasing environmental cleaning at home and work
  • Considering the use of non-medical masks in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Reducing personal non-essential travel

On May 7, the government released “A Commitment to Surgical Renewal in B.C.” which outlines the strategy for rescheduling cancelled procedures in the province.  Surgical services are set to resume May 18.


Reopening will take place in stages, beginning as early as May 1:

Early actions:

  • May 1: Access to boat launches in provincial parks, vehicle access to parking lots and staging areas on public lands
  • May 2: Golf courses to reopen
  • May 4: Some non-urgent surgeries resume, reopening of dental and regulated health care practices
  • May 14: Online campground booking systems will reopen for reservations starting June 1

Stage 1: Beginning a May 14

  • In Calgary and Brooks:
    • May 25:  Hair salons, barber shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs
    • June 1: Day camps, post-secondary institutions, places of worship and funeral services

Stage 2: Timeline to be determined based on health indicators

Stage 3: Timeline to be determined based on health indicators (with gradual implementation)

On April 30, Alberta announced  “Opening Soon: Alberta’s relaunch strategy”, a three-stage plan to gradually lift restrictions on businesses and services. Moving from one stage to the next of the relaunch plan will depend on the province’s ability to keep infection rates within the capacity of the healthcare system, guided by the measures of (1) the percentage of tests that are positive and (2) hospitalization and intensive care unit rates.

Ahead of the launch of Stage 1, some non-urgent surgeries will be permitted. Dental and other regulated health-care workers such as physiotherapists, speech language pathologists, respiratory therapists, audiologists, social workers, occupational therapists, dietitians, chiropractors, optometry can resume non-urgent activities, as long as they follow approved guidelines. Certain outdoor recreational activities will also resume.

Stage 1:

  • Gatherings of more than 15 people continue to be prohibited. Masks are strongly encouraged where it is not possible to physically distance, such as on public transit
  • Retail businesses such as clothing, furniture and bookstores may reopen, while following sector specific guidance
  • Some personal services, such as hairstyling and barber shops, may reopen while following sector specific guidance
  • Museums and art galleries may reopen while following sector specific guidance
  • More scheduled surgeries and dental procedures will be allowed
  • Daycares and summer camps may reopen, with limited enrolment, while following sector specific guidance
  • Cafés, restaurants  with no bar service to reopen for public seating at 50 per cent capacity while following sector specific guidance
  • Some additional outdoor recreation will be permitted
  • The cities of Calgary and Brooks will reopen more gradually due to higher case numbers:
    • Hair salons and barber shops, cafes, restaurants pubs and bars may reopen at 50% capacity as of May 25
    • Day camps, post-secondary institutions, places of worship and funeral services that can adhere to specific guidelines will reopen June 1

Stage 2:

  • Size of permitted gatherings will increase. Masks are encouraged where it is not possible to maintain physical distance
  • This stage will allow additional businesses/services to reopen and resume operations with two metre physical distancing requirements as well as other public health guidelines in place
  • Libraries to reopen, movie theatres and theatres open with restrictions
  • Personal services such as artificial tanning, esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatments, massage and reflexology services will resume
  • Restaurants, cafés, lounges and bars continue to operate at reduced capacity

Stage 3: Full reopening of all businesses and services, with some restrictions. Larger gatherings to be permitted. Physical distancing measures to remain in place.

On May 3, Alberta released “Workplace Guidance for Business Owners”, a public

document that sets out measures for employee safety and facility hygiene. It includes specific requirements for retail businesses and large production facilities.


Furthermore, on May 11, the Alberta Government announced the new webpage, which provides business owners with information on health and safety guidelines for general workplaces and sector-specific guidelines for those able to open in stage one of relaunch to ensure businesses can reopen safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Reopening will take place in phases, beginning on May 4:

Phase One:

  • Medical services (May 4)
  • Fishing and boat launches (May 4)
  • Golf courses (May 15)
  • Parks and campgrounds (June 1)

Phase Two:

  • Retails services (May 19)
  • Select personal services (May 19)

Phase Three: No timeline announced to date

Phase Four: No timeline announced to date

Phase Five: No timeline announced to date


On April 23, Saskatchewan announced “Reopen Saskatchewan“, a 5-phase plan to slowly lift restrictions on businesses and services within the province.

Phase One:

Phase Two:

  • Retail businesses that were previously not allowed to provide services to the public such as clothing stores, flower shops and travel agencies will be allowed to reopen
  • Select personal services such as hairdressers and barbers, registered massage therapists and acupuncturists will be permitted to resume operations
  • Retail and personal services workplaces will need to follow guidance that essential businesses are currently following with respect to hand washing, intensive cleaning (particularly high-touch areas) and structuring stores to enable physical distancing. In order to meet these requirements, operators may need to limit the number of customers in the store
  • Specific guidelines for retail businesses and for personal care services  are available.

Phase Three:

  • Restaurants and food services to reopen at 50% capacity
  • Gyms and fitness centres, licensed establishments and child care facilities reopen;
  • Remaining personal care services, such as estheticians, tattoo artists and nail technicians resume operations
  • The size of public and private gatherings to increase to 15 people

Phase Four: Indoor and outdoor recreation facilities reopen; the size of public and private gatherings increases to 30 people.

Phase Five: Considerations regarding lifting some long-term restrictions to take place.

Businesses operating in Saskatchewan must operate according to the following COVID-19 response guidelines. This information will apply to all workplaces in Saskatchewan as restrictions are lifted and businesses are brought back into service. Measures include:

  • Two-meter distancing between individuals. If this is not possible, other measures should be used, such as self-monitoring of personal health or workforce supervision by Infection Prevention and Control or Occupational Health and Safety staff in the workplace
  • The practice of proper hand-hygiene by employees. When not visibly soiled, employees should use Health Canada-approved hand sanitizer between customer interactions. Two-meter distancing between individuals should still be maintained. If this is not possible, other measures should be used, such as self-monitoring of personal health or supervision by Infection Prevention and Control or Occupational Health and Safety staff in the workplace
  • The cleaning and disinfection of commonly touched areas and shared equipment at least twice daily or when visibly soiled. This includes light switches, door handles, toilets, taps, handrails, countertops, mobile devices and keyboards
  • The implementation of a workplace illness policy by all businesses

On May 8, the province published specific guidance for public and farmers markets, second-hand stores and drive-in theatres. The province also released guidance for the appropriate use of personal protective equipment.

The government states that the following initiatives should remain in place throughout all five phases:

  • Protective measures for vulnerable populations
  • Individuals working from home if they can do so effectively
  • Maintenance of physical distancing, wherever possible
  • Commitment of the ill to staying home
  • The continued exercise of caution and minimization of high-risk exposures (such as public outings) by vulnerable individuals, such as seniors and those with underlying health conditions
  • The continued focus on personal hygiene as a key prevention measure
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection in workplaces, public spaces and recreational facilities
  • Compliance with recommended public health measures (despite that the public health order regarding the size of gatherings does not apply to businesses and workplaces), including:
    • physical distancing among staff and clients;
    • regular cleaning and disinfection;
    • frequent handwashing and sanitizing;
    • use of PPE where available and appropriate; and
    • keeping staff who demonstrate or report COVID-19 symptoms out of the workplace
  • Long-term care and personal care homes ensuring that each staff member works in only one facility


Reopening will take place in phases, beginning on May 4

Phase One: Beginning May 4

Phase Two: Beginning no earlier than June 1

Future phases: No timeline announced to date

On April 29, Manitoba released “Restoring Safe Services Together” a phased approach to easing restrictions and supporting economic recovery.

Phase One:

  • Schools will remain closed; public gatherings will continue to be restricted to 10 people
  • Non-urgent surgery and diagnostic procedures will resume
  • Therapeutic and health care services will be restored. Specific guidelines related to these services are available on page 22 of the document
  • Retail businesses will reopen. All businesses must limit occupancy to 50% of normal business levels. Specific guidelines for retail businesses are available on page 23 of the document
  • Patio/walk-up services in restaurants will be restored. Specific guidelines for restaurants are available on page 24 of the document
  • Hairstylists and barbers will reopen. Specific guidelines are available on page 25 of the document
  • Museums, galleries and libraries will reopen. Specific guidelines are available on page 26 of the document
  • Outdoor recreation and campgrounds will reopen. Specific guidelines are available on pages 27-29 of the document
  • Employees across all sectors will be required to use the self-screening tool before coming to work

Phase Two:

  • Public gatherings will be expanded
  • All businesses will be required to limit occupancy to 50% of normal business levels
  • Dine-in services in restaurants will be restored at 50% capacity, in addition to take-out, delivery, patio and walk-up service, as long as physical distancing requirements are met
  • Manicurists and pedicurists may be considered for reopening
  • Film production will be reopened
  • Non-contact children’s sports will be restored

Future phases:

  • Other non-essential businesses such as bars, tattoo parlours, swimming pools, spas and movie theatres may be reopened


Stage One: Beginning May 19

On April 27, the Ontario government released “A Framework for Reopening our Province”. The framework outlines the principles and criteria that will be used to determine when public health restrictions will be lifted. Workplaces, businesses and public spaces will reopen gradually, in three stages. No information regarding the timeline for reopening or which businesses and services will be reopened in each stage has been provided.

Effective May 4 certain businesses will be allowed to reopen, including:

  • Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only
  • Lawn care and landscaping;
  • Additional essential construction projects that include:
    • shipping and logistics;
    • broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
    • any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
    • municipal projects;
    • colleges and universities;
    • child care centres;
    • schools; and
    • site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
  • Automatic and self-serve car washes;
  • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
  • Golf courses and marina may prepare for the upcoming seasons but may not open to the public


On May 6, Premier Ford announced that the following businesses may open:

  • On May 8, garden centres and nurseries can reopen for in store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies
  • On May 9, hardware stores and safety supply stores may reopen under the same guidelines
  • On May 11, non-essential retail stores with a street entrance may begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Guidance for Essential Workplaces and occupation health and safety requirements

Additionally, essential construction projects that may continue have been expanded to include new below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums.

Effective May 16, seasonal activities such as golf-based driving ranges, cycling tracks, rowing and sailing, and track and field may resume.

Effective May 19, Ontario entered Stage 1 of its recovery plan. On this date, the provincial government:

  • Lifted essential workplace limits on construction and resuming all construction;
  • Allowed retail located outside of shopping malls with a separate street-front entrance to reopen, while mandating that these business put in place restrictions to enable physical distancing (which can include limiting the number of customers in a store at any one time or by square metre, booking appointments beforehand or on the spot, and continuing to encourage curbside pickup or deliveries)
  •  Enabled motor vehicle dealerships to reopen;
  • Allowed media operations, specifically music recording, interactive digital media production (including programming, film development, television post-production and animation) and publishing (including newspapers, video games and books) to resume
  • Allowed non-professional services related to conducting research and experimental development in physical, engineering and life sciences to reopen
  • Enabled in-person counselling services to resume;
  • Allowed veterinary and pet groom services to resume
  • Allowed indoor and outdoor household services, including cleaning and maintenance services to resume.

The province has published a detailed list of Stage 1 Openings, available here.

In Stage 2, more workplaces will be opened, based on risk assessments, which may include some service industries and additional office and retail workplaces.

In Stage 3, all workplaces will be opened responsibly.

On April 30, Ontario released detailed sector-specific workplace safety guidance for multiple industries, including construction, utilities, health care, office, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.

On May 7, Ontario released “A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and

Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic”, guidance containing clear criteria that

must be met before hospitals can resume scheduled surgeries.


On May 19, Ontario announced that elementary and secondary schools will remained closed for the rest of the school year.


Retail commerce: Businesses with an exterior door, not in shopping malls will open on May 4 outside of the Montreal region, and May 25 in Montreal. Businesses captured in the supply chain of retail stores can resume their activities on the same dates

Manufacturing: Reopening with restrictions on May 11; full reopening May 25

Construction: Full reopening May 11

Elementary schools and daycares will reopen on May 11 outside of the Montreal region. Daycare centres in Montreal will reopen June 1, and elementary schools in Montreal will remain closed until August.

Outdoor sports and leisure activities carried out individually or in pairs will be permitted to proceed beginning May 20

No timeline announced to date for the reopening of other non-essential industries

On April 28, Premier Legault announced the first stage of the opening of the Quebec economy, focusing on the construction, manufacturing and retail sectors.

Construction: All construction worksites can resume their activities, across all sectors, whether residential, civil engineering, commercial or institutional. The construction industry’s supply chains can also reopen. Administrative staff must continue working from home.

Specific guidance for construction sites has been published by CNESST, Quebec’s health and safety commission. Measures include:

  • Health checks (consisting of questions) that are to be conducted upon arrival at the worksite. Temperature taking is not recommended based on unreliable results
  • Social distancing measures that must be implemented at worksites. Where this is not possible, personal protective equipment must be provided for workers performing tasks within 2 metres of another person for more than 15 minutes without a physical barrier
  • Making available flushing toilets and sinks for worksites with more than 25 employees

CNESST will deploy 300 inspectors to ensure public health guidance is being followed.

Manufacturing: All manufacturing companies can reopen. The number of employees permitted per shift is to be calculated as 50 individuals plus 50% of the remaining capacity of the factory that exceeds those 50 workers. For example, a manufacturing site that employs 500 workers on a shift must operate with 50 workers plus 50% of the left over workforce capacity, resulting in a maximum of 275 employees. However, beginning May 25, companies may resume operating at full capacity. Employees who can work from home must continue to do so.

CNESST has published specific guidance for the manufacturing sector. Measures include:

  • Conducting a risk assessment of workplaces
  • Identifying individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and refusing them entry into the workplace
  • Implementing physical distancing measures and adapting workspaces to limit the risk of transmission by, for example, installing physical barriers between different workstations, or organizing supply chains to include smaller teams of workers
  • Disinfecting high-touch surfaces, at minimum between each shift

Retail commerce: Businesses that are not in shopping malls and have direct exterior access can reopen on May 4 outside of the Montreal region. On May 4, Premier Legault announced that the reopening of retail businesses will be postponed from May 11 until May 18 in Montreal.  Subsequently, on May 7, Premier Legault announced that the reopening of retail businesses will be further postponed until May 25.

Sunday closure of retail spaces, with the exception of pharmacies, grocery stores offering phone orders, restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores will be extended until May 31.  

CNESST has published specific guidance for retail businesses. Measures include:

  • Conducting a risk assessment of workplaces
  • Identifying workers with COVID-19 symptoms and refusing them entry into the workplace
  • Implementing physical distancing measures, through means such as limiting the number of customers in the store, and installing barriers in front of cashes
  • Prioritizing contactless payments and having customers put their own purchases in bags
  • Disinfecting high-touch surfaces, at minimum between each shift

In anticipation of businesses in other sectors reopening, CNESST has published a general COVID-19 toolkit that includes guides on reopening the workplace, maintaining physical distancing in the workplace, implementing hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and maintaining a sanitary work environment.  

On May 13, the province announced that non-organized outdoor recreational athletic activities, carried out individually or in pairs, that do not require physical contact and which have limited or no access to sanitation facilities will begin to be permitted as of May 20. Further information on permitted activities is available here.

New Brunswick

First phase of measures implemented on April 24

Second phase of measures implemented on May 8


On April 24, Premier Higgs announced the first phase of New Brunswick’s recover plan and the lifting of certain public health restrictions. The plan to reopen businesses, educational facilities, the health-care system, recreational activities, and cultural events will be guided by four distinct public health alert levels:

  • Red: This is the phase aimed at flattening the curve and containing the virus as quickly as possible
  • Orange: The goal of this phase is to balance the reopening of social and economic settings while preventing a resurgence of transmission
  • Yellow: The goal of this phase is to further increase the reopening of social and economic settings after the ability to control transmission has been demonstrated
  • Green: This phase will likely come after a vaccine is available or more is learned about how to protect people from the virus

The phased plan will allow health experts to monitor and evaluate the impact of the lifting of restrictions, and reinstate measures to protect public health if necessary.

Effective April 24, the following is permitted:

  • Two households may mutually agree to spend time together. The selection made is not interchangeable
  • Golf courses and driving ranges may open if physical distancing and safety measures are in place
  • Recreational fishing and hunting is permitted
  • Outdoor spaces such as parks and beaches may reopen if physical distancing measures are in place
  • Co-workers or neighbours can carpool if physical distancing measures are maintained by transporting the passenger in the backseat
  • Students will be able to access to post-secondary campuses to fulfill their course requirements
  • Religious organizations can hold outdoor services if parishioners stay in their vehicles, which must be two metres apart

On May 8, New Brunswick moved to the second phase, Orange level, of the COVID-19 recovery plan. Reopenings include:

  • Elective surgeries and other non-emergency health services, including dental, physiotherapy, optometry and massage therapy
  • All in-person programs at post-secondary institutions, subject to the COVID-19 directives from Public Health. Virtual education options should be continued wherever possible
  • Cultural venues such as museums, galleries and libraries
  • Offices not deemed essential during the initial phase
  • Retail establishments, including malls
  • Restaurants
  • Campgrounds and outdoor recreational activities, such as zoos and outfitters; ATV trails across the province
  • Early learning and child care centres regulated by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will be permitted to reopen as of May 19
  • Non-regulated child care providers may re open as May 8 but must adhere to Public Health guidelines, including having an operational plan
  • Day camps, may reopen if the organization can adhere public health measures

The government has published “Guidance Document of General Public Health Measures During COVID-19 Recovery”, which provides guidance for businesses, service providers and organizations who have been permitted to reopen. Employers must develop a COVID-19 Operational Plan that outlines how they will manage the opening and operation of their business. The Operational Plan must follow public health recommendations, and may be reviewed by Public Health inspectors. Further information on the operational plan is available in the “COVID-19 Operational Plan Guide”.

Nova Scotia

Initial measures: Implemented May 1

Additional measures: No timeline announced to date

On May 1, Premier McNeil announced initial steps in lifting public health restrictions. Effective immediately, the following measures are in place:

  • Provincial and municipal parks can reopen, but playground equipment will continue to be off limits; trails will be reopened;
  • People are allowed to use and visit community gardens
  • Garden centres, nurseries and similar businesses can open
  • Sportfishing is permitted from shore or boat, but fishing derbies are not allowed; people can attend boating, yacht or sailing clubs for the purpose of preparing boats for use
  • Golf driving ranges can open, including those at golf clubs, but the course must remain closed; golf clubs can perform necessary maintenance and preparations for opening
  • Drive-in religious services will be allowed, as long as people stay in their cars, and maintain physical distancing measures.

On May 8, the province announced that Nova Scotia’s reopening plan is under development, and will be based on public health advice, the status of COVID-19 in the province and consultation with sectors. Reopening will be done in phases, which could last a minimum of 28 days each.

Prince Edward Island

Reopening will take place in phases, beginning May 1:

Phase One: Beginning May 1

Phase Two: Beginning May 22

Phase Three: Tentatively set to begin June 12

Phase Four: No timeline announced to date

Premier King announced a phased-in approach to easing public health measures will begin by permitting some outdoor activities and elective surgeries, with close monitoring by public health officials. If there is no widespread community transmission, the province will permit the reopening of some shops and restaurants.

On April 28, the province published “Renew PEI Together” which outlines the guiding principles and phased approach to the reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. The plan will be implemented in four distinct phases with a progressive lifting of public health measures on individuals, communities and organizations over three-week periods.

Phase One:

  • Limited outdoor gatherings and non-contact outdoor recreational activities will be permitted
  • Child care services for essential workers will be available
  • Priority non-urgent health care services will be permitted, with workers encouraged to use personal protective equipment
  • Select outdoor and construction services, including landscaping, pool maintenance, outdoor construction (such as fencing and roofing), and new construction including roadworks will be permitted
  • Effective May 15, the province’s seafood sector will resume operations

Phase Two:

  • Indoor gatherings of no more than 5 people, and outdoor gatherings involving no more than 10 people will be permitted
  • Additional retail businesses and select indoor services will reopen, including retail outlets, greenhouses, cleaning services, car washes, and hairdressers. Businesses must take every reasonable step to promote physical distancing
  • Licensed and unlicensed child care centres will reopen
  • Additional non-urgent health care services such as massage therapists and acupuncturists will reopen

Phase Three:

  • Indoor gatherings of no more than 15 people, and outdoor gatherings of 20 people will be permitted
  • Organized recreational activities and recreational facilities will be permitted to reopen
  • Personal services, indoor dining, and accommodations such as campgrounds to reopen for PEI residents only

No details have been announced on Phase Four to date.

Throughout all phases of Renew PEI Together, the following public health guidance must be respected:

  • Stay informed, be prepared, and follow public health advice
  • Maintain physical distancing of 2 m (6 ft) with individuals who are not part of your household
  • Adhere to mass gathering limits
  • Stay home when ill and call 811 promptly if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% - 80% alcohol
  • Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve, and wash your hands directly afterwards
  • Ensure enhanced cleaning and disinfection of commonly touched surfaces
  • With employer’s support, continue working from home and encourage others to do the same
  • Continue to use online, home delivery, and curbside pick-up shopping options where available
  • Co-workers and neighbours can carpool or share drives if physical distancing is maintained
  • Vulnerable individuals should exercise caution and minimize high-risk exposures
  • Avoid interaction with immune-compromised and vulnerable populations
  • Limit personal non-essential travel
  • Consider wearing non-medical masks in certain situations e.g. public transit
  • Keep a log of interactions to self-monitor and to facilitate contact tracing should a case be detected

On May 8, the province announced social gathering restrictions have been amended to allow members of the same household to gather indoors with  up to 5 other people from different households, and outdoors with up 10 other people from different households.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Alert Level 4: Beginning May 11

Alert Level 3: Beginning earliest 28 days following Alert Level 4

Alert Level 2: No timeline announced to date

Alert Level 1: No timeline announced to date

On April 30, Newfoundland released “A Foundation for Living with COVID-19”, a phased approach to lifting emergency measures. The plan sets out five alert levels, which will be monitored by the Chief Medical Office of Health to determine the pace at which public health restrictions will be relaxed or strengthened. The province is moving to alert level 4 beginning Monday, May 11.

Alert Level 4:

  • Gatherings expanded to 10 people as long as physical distancing can be maintained
  • Recreational angling and hunting permitted; golf courses, driving ranges, and municipal parks opened
  • Professional services such as accounting firms, law firms, and financial services can offer in-person services. Work from home policies are encouraged, where possible
  • In-person worker and workplace safety training will be permitted
  • Gardening centres can open for in-person sales and service
  • Landscaping and lawn care services can operate
  • Animal daycares can resume operations

Alert Level 3:

  • Gatherings are expanded to 20 people as long as physical distancing can be maintained.
  • Retail stores, including those in shopping malls, can open with restrictions
  • Retail stores are permitted to sell scratch and break open lotto tickets in store
  • Personal service establishments, including spas, esthetic services, hair salons, body piercing, tattooing and tanning salons, can open in accordance with guidelines
  • Animal grooming facilities can resume operations
  • Expanded reopening of daycare operations
  • Restaurants can reopen at reduced occupancy; buffets remain prohibited
  • Campsites are permitted to open for day use only, with restrictions on public spaces
  • Summer day camps can operate, with restrictions
  • Medium-risk outdoor recreational activities can resume (e.g., team field sports). Outdoor pools can operate with a limited number of people

Alert Level 2:

  • Bars and lounges are permitted to open with reduced occupancy
  • Indoor entertainment facilities can reopen with reduced occupancy
  • Gyms and fitness facilities are permitted to open, with restrictions
  • Arenas can open, with restrictions. Indoor pools can open, however some restrictions may apply
  • Campsites are permitted to offer overnight stays with some restrictions in place for public spaces. Playground equipment can be used
  • Expansion on size of gatherings to be determined, including funerals and weddings. Places of worship are permitted to resume operations with restrictions

Alert Level 1: Considerations regarding lifting long-term public health measures to take place.

The following public health measures will be in place at every Alert Level:

  • Staying informed and being prepared to follow public health advice
  • Practicing good hygiene (washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, coughing and sneezing into your sleeve or a tissue)
  • Maintaining a physical distance of at least 2 arm lengths. Using a non-medical or cloth mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces
  • Staying at home and away from others when sick, unless it is to get medical attention. Wearing a non-medical or cloth mask when going out to access health care services
  • Working from home, where possible
  • Continuing to shop online and use curbside pickup, where possible
  • Limiting non-essential travel in and outside of the province
  • Keeping a log of when you go out in public and what interactions you have with others

Northwest Territories

Measures expected to be announced in the near future

The Chief Public Health Office stated on April 22 that the government is in the planning stages to loosen public health restrictions and that more details will be provided in the near future.


Restrictions lifted until May 15 at the earliest

Phase One: Beginning May 15

Phase Two: Beginning 4-6 weeks after implementing Phase One

Phase Three: No timeline announced to date

Phase Four: No timeline announced to date

The Chief Medical Officer stated on April 29 that three conditions need to be met before the territory will consider relaxing existing restrictions:

1. In-territory diagnostic capacity must be achieved. This means that Nunavut will need to be able to implement a rapid, accurate, and comprehensive COVID-19 testing program;

2. There needs to be significant indication that rates of COVID-19 are decreasing in the southern jurisdictions to which Nunavummiut most often travel; and

3. There needs to remain no active cases of COVID-19 within Nunavut.

On May 12, the government announced “Emerging Wisely: Continued Public Health Response to COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories” a five-phase plan for lifting public health restrictions. The current containment phase will continue until at least May 15, 2020. The outlined timeline represents a 28 day period, or effectively two incubation periods, since the collection of the test confirming the last identified case in the territory had recovered .

Phase One:

  • Social gatherings of five people outside one’s household will be permitted indoors, and 25 people outdoors
  • Playgrounds will reopen
  • Elementary, middle and high schools may reopen with physical distancing measures in place
  • Some businesses and organizations ordered closed may open with strict physical distancing, protective equipment, client limitation, and infection control measures in place. These businesses include:
    • Personal service establishments
    • Tourism operators offering their experiences for local residents
    • Museums and art galleries
    • Gyms and fitness centres for personal training and outdoor classes
  • All non-essential workers will still be expected to work from home wherever possible

Phase: Two:

  • Public events and outdoor social gatherings of 50 people will be permitted
  •  Indoor sports and day programs with less than 25 people may reopen
  • Movie theatres and theatres may reopen with reduced seating
  • Gyms and fitness centres will be permitted to run indoor classes
  • Capacity restrictions on personal service establishments will be relaxed
  • Dine-in restaurants may reopen with limited capacity

Phase Three:

  • Further lifting of social gathering restrictions
  • Pools and common use gyms in buildings may reopen with limited capacity
  • Outdoor tourism operations may resume

Final Phase:

  • All restrictions lifted when a vaccine for COVID-19 has been approved, produced, and a successful vaccination program has been implemented for vulnerable populations, or an otherwise effective treatment is developed

For the duration of this pandemic, the following long-term measures must remain in-place:

  • Travel restrictions: travel prohibitions and restrictions in the territory will remain in place
  • Social (physical) distancing: businesses will continue to be directed to put in place social (physical) distancing measures, people will be asked to continue keeping at least two metres apart from those who they don’t live with whenever possible and where risk is not mitigated by personal protective equipment
  • Non-medical mask use by residents in public, although not mandatory, will continue to be encouraged
  • Enhanced hand-washing by all residents
  • Good respiratory hygiene
  • Strong guidance for vulnerable populations
  • Strong infection control protocols for organizations, businesses and workplaces


Phase One: Beginning May 15

Phase Two: No timeline announced to date

Phase Three: No timeline announced to date

The Chief Medical Office of Health stated on April 28 that planning for the Yukon’s reopening strategy is underway, in coordination with federal and jurisdictional counterparts.

On May 15, Yukon released Yukon released “A Path Forward: Yukon’s Plan for Lifting COVID-19 restrictions”. The plan includes three phases to gradually ease restrictions.

Phase One:

  • Gatherings of up to 10 people from two combined households are permitted
  • Restrictions on personal care services, bars and dine-in restaurants to remain in place
  • Territorial campgrounds will reopen on June 4
  • Hospitals will begin offering non-urgent and routine services
  • Travel directions eased based on public health data and surveillance
  • All businesses must complete an operatio plan

Phase Two:

  • Travel directions eased based on public health data and surveillance
  • Outdoor gatherings of 50 or less may be permitted with physical distancing measures in place
  • Further restrictions to be lifted

Phase Three:

  • Travel directions eased based on public health data and surveillance
  • Restrictions on restaurants may be eased based on public health assessment
  • Further measures to be determined as Yukon transitions to a “new normal”


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