Here’s what you can and can’t do in Hamilton during coronavirus lockdown stage

The Ontario government has announced Hamilton will be entering the province’s grey lockdown phase of coronavirus-related restrictions as of 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 21.

The provincial government’s restrictions are set to be in place for a minimum of 28 days.

“In Hamilton, the number of cases and hospitalizations are trending upwards and further action is required to help stop the spread of the virus,” a statement issued by officials on Dec. 18 said.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Hamilton to move into COVID-19 lockdown on Monday

“The case rate increased by 25.8 per cent, to 103.3 cases per 100,000 people and the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region have more than doubled in the last two weeks. In addition, the positivity rate is well above the high alert threshold and is at 4.2 per cent.”

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Overall, trips outside of the home should only be done for essential reasons (work, school, groceries, exercise, caring for vulnerable people). Social gatherings should be avoided and families were discouraged from visiting other households. Those who live alone are encouraged to associate with only one other household.

Here is what will be allowed to operate under Ontario’s lockdown guidelines:

Cannabis stores

Cannabis stores can be open for curbside pick-up.

Casinos, bingo halls, gaming

Casinos, bingo halls and gaming facilities were ordered closed.

Cinemas, movie theatres, performing arts facilities

These facilities are closed except for drive-in cinemas. Rehearsals or performances being broadcast are allowed without spectators. Singers and musicians playing brass and wind instruments must be separated by impermeable barriers.

Driving schools

In-person instruction is not allowed but virtual classes can continue.

Film and television production

Film and television production shoots are not permitted beyond “restrictions in control red zone.” A government spokesperson told Global News film and television production can go ahead so long as there are no spectators. Employees and performers have to keep two metres apart except for the “purposes of the performance.”

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Post-production is permitted.

Hotels and motels

Hotels and motels can remain open for business. However, pools, fitness centres, meeting rooms and other recreational amenities must be closed.

Household services

Housekeepers, nannies, baby sitters and other household staff will be allowed to keep working. Cleaning, maintenance and repair-related services and businesses will also be allowed.


Only contactless curbside pickup and delivery will be allowed. Patrons can go inside facilities for pick-up and drop-off or to access computers, photocopiers and similar services. Permitted services are allowed.

Nightclubs and strip clubs

Nightclubs and strip clubs can only operate if doing so as a restaurant or other food and drink establishment, which means take-out, drive-through and/or delivery services of food and drink only.

Personal care services

Personal care service providers (e.g. hair salons, barbershops etc.) were ordered closed.

Real estate

Real estate agencies will be allowed to operate, but open houses must be by appointment only.

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Regulated health services

Regulated health professionals (chiropractors, dentists, massage therapists, ophthalmologists, physical and occupational therapists, podiatrists) are allowed to operate under the provincial framework.

Restaurants, bars, cafes

Indoor and outdoor seating is banned. Existing take out, drive-through and delivery services will be allowed to continue.

Schools and post-secondary institutions

Schools and daycare facilities will be allowed to remain open in accordance with previous reopening plans and adherence to evolving public health guidelines.

Post-secondary institutions can stay open for in-person instruction only for programs that require it (for example clinical medical training, trades etc.). Virtual learning will be required for all other situations.

Shopping and retail

Customers waiting in lines must adhere to a two-metre separation.

According to an Ontario government statement, in-person shopping is allowed at supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, discount and big-box retailers with full grocery store components (e.g. Walmart, Costco etc.), hardware stores, safety supply stores and pharmacies. However, those businesses must cap the number of customers at 50 per cent of approved capacity.

Other retail businesses and department stores will only be allowed to open for curbside pick-up and delivery. Customers will not be allowed inside to do in-person retail shopping.

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Stores in malls can be open for curbside pickup. Ontario’s health minister encouraged the setup of outdoor pickup areas. Mall entrances can remain open for people to access essential services (e.g. pharmacies). Food courts can only remain open for takeout service.

Car dealerships and indoor garden centres can remain open on an appointment-only basis. Outdoor garden centres can remain open outdoor and for curbside pick-up or delivery.

Outdoor markets can remain open.

Social gatherings, religious services, weddings, funerals

Organized, indoor public events and social gatherings are banned except for people from the same household. Outdoor organized public events and social gatherings with physical distancing are capped at 10 people. Virtual and drive-in events with distancing will be allowed.

Weddings, funerals and religious services are capped at 10 people indoors and 10 people outdoors. Physical distancing must be adhered to.

Sports and recreation fitness

All indoor facilities have been ordered closed. Community centres and multi-purpose facilities can only remain open for exempt activities and services such as child care.

Indoor individual and team sports, as well as training, aren’t allowed except for high-performance athletes and professional leagues.

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