Updated November 30, 2021

The AGCOhas maintained its services during the COVID-19 pandemic in support of the businesses and citizens that rely on our activities. Check this webpage to know what the AGCO is doing to support you and how we are adapting our services, guided by advice from public health officials. 

The Government of Ontario released a three-step Roadmap that will guide a safe and gradual reopening of the province and the lifting of public health measures based on ongoing progress of provincewide vaccination rates and improvement in key public health and health care indicators.  

The province entered Step 3 of the Roadmap on Friday, July 16, at 12:01 a.m. The Government has indicated that, in light of new variants of concern and based on the recent experiences of other jurisdictions, it is pausing the exit from the Roadmap to Reopen. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts will continue to monitor the situation to determine when it is safe to exit the Roadmap.

For ease of reference, the AGCO is highlighting relevant information regarding the current public health measures affecting its regulated sectors.

Proof of Vaccination

On September 14, 2021, the Government of Ontario announced that specified businesses or organizations as per section 2.1 of Schedule 1 to O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step (O. Reg. 364/20) under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) must require each patron who enters an area of the premises to provide, at the point of entry, proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The specified businesses or organizations must comply with the Ministry of Health’s guidance document, pursuant to subsection 2.1(4) of Schedule 1 of O. Reg. 364/20.

On September 24, 2021, the Government of Ontario further amended O. Reg. 364/60 to increase capacity limits for select indoor and outdoor settings where proof of vaccination is required. 

On October 22, 2021, the Government of Ontario announced that it will amend O. Reg. 364/20 to allow certain places of business or facilities to elect to require patrons to provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to not be required to limit the number of members of the public in the place of business or facility. This applies to businesses that provide tour and guide services, including tastings and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries, in respect of indoor areas. These changes take effect as of October 25, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. 

Please consult the updated capacity limits in the regulation.  

Licensed establishments can print proof of vaccination posters created by Ontario’s Ministry of Health.

For detailed information on all public health measures, please consult the government’s Roadmap to Reopen website.   

Step 3

Cannabis retail stores

Proof of vaccination is not required for patrons seeking to access cannabis retail stores.

 

Cannabis retail stores, including stores located in malls, are permitted to open for in-person shopping as non-essential retail.

 

Permissible hours for cannabis retail stores are 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

 

Retail stores must ensure the total number of patrons permitted indoors is limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the establishment. Capacity limits apply to members of the public only (i.e. shoppers) and do not take into account the employees of the store.

 

Cannabis retail stores are also permitted to offer curbside pickup and delivery services between the hours of 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. The requirements for temporary Curbside Pick-Up and Delivery are outlined in the Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores.

Liquor stores

Proof of vaccination is not required for patrons seeking to access liquor stores.

 

Stores that sell liquor, including beer, wine and spirits may continue to open for in-person shopping. Permissible hours for the sale of liquor are 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

 

Retail stores must ensure the total number of patrons permitted indoors is limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the establishment.  Capacity limits apply to members of the public only (i.e. shoppers) and do not take into account the employees of the store.
 
The permissible hours for delivery of liquor by a licensed liquor delivery service is 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Restaurants and bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities

Effective September 22, 2021, patrons must show proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can enter the following areas:

  • Indoor areas of restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments without dance facilities (excludes outdoor areas (i.e., outdoor patios), delivery and takeout
  • Indoor areas of meeting and event spaces (includes banquet halls, conference and convention centres (with limited exceptions)
  • Indoor areas of concert venues, theatres, and cinemas

 

As of October 25, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits for restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments where dance facilities are not provided were lifted to allow 100 per cent capacity.

 

As of November 30, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments that are located in a sterile area* of an airport are exempt from requiring patrons to provide proof of identification and of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

For more information, including a list of exemptions, please refer to this guidance document.

 

*A sterile area of an airport is defined under the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations, 2012 made under the Aeronautics Act (Canada) as an area that is restricted that is used to segregate: passengers who have been screened; passengers exempted from screening; and other persons authorized to be in the area. 

Restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments where dance facilities are not provided, including those located in a shopping mall, may open if they comply with the following conditions:

 

  1. The person responsible for the establishment must actively screen any dine-in patrons in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the establishment.
  2. The person responsible for the establishment must, 
    1. record the name and contact information of every patron that enters an area of the establishment, unless the patron temporarily enters the area to place, pick up or pay for a takeout order, 
    2. maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and 
    3. only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law. 
  3. No patron shall dance at the establishment.

The permissible hours of sale and service of liquor for consumption on licensed premises are 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
 
Takeout and delivery of liquor with food orders from an eligible liquor licensed establishment is permissible between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. 

 

All eligible liquor sales licensees (including Boat Operators and “By the Glass” licensees) may add or temporarily extend their licensed premises without an application to the AGCO provided they meet the relevant requirements. For more details on the Registrar’s 2021 Patio Policy, please see this Information Bulletin.

 

Live entertainment at bars and restaurants is permitted. Performers must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any spectators or must be separated from any spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.

 

Karaoke is permitted with restrictions.

 

If an outdoor dining area at the establishment is covered by a roof, canopy, tent, awning or other element, at least two full sides of the entire outdoor area must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable physical barriers.

 

If an outdoor dining area at the establishment is equipped with a retractable roof and the roof is retracted, at least one full side of the outdoor dining area must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable physical barriers.

Food or drink establishments with dance facilities

Effective September 22, 2021, patrons must show proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can enter the following areas:

  • Indoor and outdoor areas of food or drink establishments with dance facilities, including nightclubs and restoclubs and other similar establishments (excludes delivery and takeout)

 

For more information, including a list of exemptions, please refer to this guidance document.

Food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs, restoclubs and other similar establishments, may open if they comply with the following conditions during any time when patrons are permitted to make use of the dance facilities: 

 

  1. In the case of an indoor establishment, the total number of members of the public permitted to be in the establishment at any one time must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the establishment and in any event may not exceed 25 per cent capacity, as determined in accordance with subsection 3 ( 4) of Schedule 1 of the Regulation, or 250 persons, whichever is less.  
  2. In the case of an outdoor establishment, the total number of members of the public permitted to be at the establishment at any one time may not exceed 75 per cent capacity, as determined in accordance with subsection 3 (2) of Schedule 1 of the Regulation, or 5,000 persons, whichever is less. 
  3. The establishment must be configured so that patrons seated at different tables are separated by,  
    1. a distance of at least two metres, or  
    2. plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.  
  4. Every patron in an outdoor establishment must wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin, unless they are entitled to any of the exceptions set out in subsection 2 ( 4) of Schedule 1 of the Regulation, or are seated with members of their own household only, and every member of the household is seated at least two metres from every person outside their household.
  5. The person responsible for the establishment must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the establishment is permitted to operate.  
  6. The person responsible for the establishment must actively screen patrons in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the premises of the establishment.  
  7. The person responsible for the establishment must,  
    1. record the name and contact information of every patron that enters an area of the establishment,  
    2. maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and  
    3. only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law. 

Strip Clubs

Effective September 22, 2021, patrons must show proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can enter the following areas:

  • Indoor areas of bathhouses, sex clubs and strip clubs

 

For more information, including a list of exemptions, please refer to this guidance document.

Strip clubs may open if they comply with the following conditions:  

 

  1. The total number of patrons permitted to be seated at the establishment, whether indoors or outdoors, must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person at the establishment.
  2. The establishment must be configured so that patrons seated at different tables are separated by,  
    1. a distance of at least two metres, or  
    2. plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.  
  3. Performers at the establishment must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from patrons. 
  4. The person responsible for the establishment must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the establishment is permitted to operate. 
  5. The person responsible for the establishment must actively screen patrons in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the indoor premises of the establishment. 
  6. The person responsible for the establishment must,  
    1. record the name and contact information of every patron that enters an area of the establishment, unless the patron temporarily enters the area to place, pick up or pay for a takeout order,  
    2. maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and  
    3. only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.

Gathering limits

For capacity limit restrictions at any business, place, facility or establishment at which food or drink is sold or served please refer to the relevant legal basis: O. Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step.

 

The AGCO is accepting applications for Special Occasion Permits. Permit holders must continue to comply with any public health measures related to COVID-19 implemented by the province of Ontario, Public Health and their local municipality, including hours and capacity restrictions at the time of the event.

Casino, bingo halls and gaming establishments

Effective September 22, 2021, patrons must show proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can enter the following areas:

  • Indoor areas of casinos, bingo halls, and gaming establishments 

 

As of October 25, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits for casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments were lifted to allow 100 per cent capacity.

 

For more information, including a list of exemptions, please refer to this guidance document.

Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments may open if they comply with the following conditions: 

  1. If a concert, event, performance or movie is held at the establishment, the relevant conditions apply. 
  2. Members of the public who enter the establishment must not be permitted to loiter in any area of the establishment or congregate at or around any of the tables where games are played. 
  3. Patrons must be separated from table game employees by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier. 
  4. If the casino, bingo hall or establishment houses an attraction, the relevant conditions apply with respect to the attraction.
  5. The person responsible for the establishment must, 
    1. record the name and contact information of every patron that enters an area of the establishment, 
    2. maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and 
    3. only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law. 
  6. The person responsible for the establishment must actively screen patrons in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the premises of the establishment. 

Horse racing

Effective September 22, 2021, patrons must show proof of identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can enter the following areas:

  • Indoor areas of horse racing tracks and other similar venues

 

For more information, including a list of exemptions, please refer to this guidance document.

As of October 9, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits for horseracing tracks and other similar venues were lifted to allow 100 per cent capacity.

 

Dining rooms and bars on the premises are permitted to open if the relevant conditions are followed (see conditions under “Restaurants, and bars and other food or drink establishments).

Construction

All construction is open.  

As more information on the specific measures and requirements that will be in place under subsequent steps of the Roadmap to Reopen becomes available, further updates will be provided to inform AGCO licensees and operators.

Local  Measures 

In addition to the provincial health measures, some municipalities and local medical officers of health have added their own regional restrictions or requirements. Licensees are reminded that they must also continue to follow any public health measures in place in their municipality. Check your local public health unit or municipality’s website for details using the links above. Where there are regional restrictions or requirements, all provincial restrictions also apply.

For information on the provincial public health and workplace safety measures, we encourage you to visit the government’s COVID-19 website. If you have any questions, you may contact your local Public Health Unit, visit Ontario.ca/COVID, or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line 1-888-444-3659.

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