Back to Stage 2 January 5: Here’s what that means in Oshawa, Whitby and the rest of Ontario


Published January 4, 2022 at 10:38 am

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Ontario will reintroduce restrictions this week to blunt the spread of the Omicron variant. Here’s a look at the latest public health measures, which kick in on Wednesday and are expected to remain in place until at least January 26.

Changes to in-class learning at schools will be in place until at least January 17.

Gatherings and services:

  • Social gathering will be limited to five people indoors and 10 people outdoors
  • Organized public events will be limited to five people indoors
  • Indoor weddings, funerals and religious services, rites and ceremonies will be limited to 50 per cent room capacity, while outdoor services are limited to the number of people that can maintain two metres of physical distance
  • Indoor meeting and event spaces must be closed with some exceptions, but outdoor spaces can open with restrictions

Schools and child care:

  • All publicly funded and private schools will move to remote learning starting Wednesday until at least January 17
  • Free child care will be provided for school-aged children of health care and other eligible frontline workers while leaning is remote
  • School buildings can open for emergency child care, instruction for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated remotely and for staff who cannot deliver quality teaching from home


  • Hospitals must pause all non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures in order to preserve critical care and human resource capacity

Restaurants, bars and clubs:

  • Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments must close indoor dining rooms
  • Takeout, drive through, delivery and outdoor dining can continue with restrictions
  • Alcohol sales will be restricted after 10 p.m., as will the consumption of alcohol in businesses or settings after 11 p.m., with exemptions for delivery and takeout, grocery/convenience stores and other liquor stores


  • Public libraries can open to 50 per cent capacity

Sports and recreation:

  • Indoor sport and recreational fitness facilities including gyms must be closed, except for athletes training for the Olympics and Paralympics and select professional and elite amateur sport leagues
  • Outdoor facilities are permitted to operate with restrictions and with spectator occupancy limited to 50 per cent capacity

Retail and other indoor businesses:

  • Retail settings, including shopping malls, are permitted to stay open at 50 per cent capacity
  • Food courts must be closed in shopping malls
  • Physical distancing will be required in line-ups in shopping malls and loitering will not be allowed
  • Personal care services can stay open at 50 per cent capacity, with other restrictions in place
  • Saunas, steam rooms and oxygen bars must close
  • All employers must let employees work remotely unless their job requires them to be on site

Theatres, entertainment venues and other attractions:

  • Indoor concert venues, theatres, cinemas, rehearsals will be closed
  • Recorded performances will be permitted with restrictions
  • Museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions, amusement parks and waterparks, tour and guide services and fairs, rural exhibitions, and festivals must be closed, but outdoor establishments can open with restrictions
  • Indoor horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues must be closed. Outdoor establishments are permitted to open with restrictions and with spectator occupancy limited to 50 per cent capacity
  • Boat tours are permitted with a 50 per cent capacity limit

Community Centres and Cultural Facilities:

  • All City-owned indoor recreational amenities, fitness centres, courts, pools, and arenas will be closed and associated programming paused as of the end of day on January 4, 2022 until new direction is given by the province (including all registered programs, drop-ins, leagues and memberships).
  • Community Centres, Arenas, etc. will remain open for general building access such as washrooms, access to leased/retail space, warming, and shower access.
  • Daycare and childcare operations in community centres will remain open.
  • Virtual programming will continue.

Meeting and Event Spaces:

  • All indoor meetings and events booked at municipal facilities will be cancelled unless the venue is used for a religious service, social services, film and television production or health and safety training. These gatherings will be subject to provincial capacity limits.

With files from Canadian Press


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