Jan13-21_State of Emergency-2

Your Questions. Answered.

With help from various government Ministries, local by-law enforcement, police and other sources, we've created a list of questions asked by Burlington residents regarding Ontario's second State of Emergency and the new Stay-at-home Orders which begin at 12:01am on Thursday, January 14, 2021. This list will be updated regularly.

Most Requested

What restrictions are contained in the Stay-at-Home order?

Click here to read the contents of the Stay-at-Home which came into effect at 12:01 a.m. on January 14, 2021.

Can someone living alone still join up with another household?

Yes, they can exclusively join one other household. This is to support their mental health and well-being, as well as to ensure those requiring support continue to have access to essential caregivers.

NEW: I do not have physical custody of my children, can I continue to see my kids as outlined in the court order?


NEW: Can college or universities students away at school return to their family home?

Yes, if they intend to reside at their family home for at least 14 days.

During the stay at home order, can I continue providing support to vulnerable family members that do not live with me?

Yes, the Stay-at-Home order implemented by Ontario's Solicitor General allows individuals/families to leave home to support a vulnerable family member.

Can people travel to their cottages or secondary residences?

Right now, we are asking people to stay home and only leave their home for essential purposes, which could include emergency maintenance of a secondary residence. In the spirit of the stay-at-home order, at this time we are not recommending travel outside of your local municipality.

Can my business remain open?

All employers should ensure that every employee works from home whenever possible. Click here for the updated list of Businesses permitted to remain open to the public. Please call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line if you need more information on your specific circumstances at 1-888-444-3659. 

Can people leave home to exercise? Can I go to my local playground or basketball court?

Yes, exercise is considered an essential reason for leaving your home. What that means will be unique to each individual Ontarian: some may wish to go for a walk around the block, while others may wish to go to a local basketball court with their household to shoot some hoops.

We recommend that you consult with the Halton Public Health Unit, the City of Burlington or the Regional Municipality of Halton to understand what recreational amenities remain open. In the spirit of the stay-at-home order, at this time we are not recommending travel outside of your local municipality.

Is there a time limit for how long people can leave their homes?

No. That said, we’re asking Ontarians to use their best judgement when leaving their home for essential reasons. They should limit the number of stores they go to and spend as little time outside of their home as possible.

Why is the province issuing a stay-at-home order while also permitting curb-side pickup?

We can not assume that every person in Ontario has easy access to online shopping. We’ve learned a lot over the past year responding to this pandemic, including the fact that what may be essential to someone in Thunder Bay and how they buy that item may not be essential to someone in downtown Toronto, who can easily buy items online for delivery.

Province-wide Shutdown

A province wide shutdown will begin December 26th at 12:01a.m. The goal of the shutdown is to limit travel across the province, to both limit the spread of COVID-19 , as well as protect hospital & health care capacity across the province.

The Provincial Shutdown was extended in early January 2021, when a Second Ontario Declaration of Emergency was proclaimed. This Declaration, announced a provincial ‘Stay at Home’ order, to last until at least Thursday February 11, 2021.

Learn More  & View the PDF

Other Questions

NEW: Can I travel outside of Ontario?

Travelling to an airport, bus station or train station for the purpose of travelling to a destination that is outside of Ontario is permitted. Please note that travel outside of Canada is not recommended. Travel between provinces for non-essential purposes is not recommended and could be subject to limitations or restrictions in place in other provinces or territories.

NEW: What does the Stay-at-Home Order mean for police?

The Stay-at-Home order does not provide police with the power to enter dwellings or the authority to stop a vehicle for the singular purpose of checking compliance.

NEW: Do I need a note from my boss to be able to travel to work?

Residents travelling to work are not required to have proof (letter) from their boss confirming they are required to travel to work.

What is an essential item?

The Government of Ontario cannot determine what is essential for every person in the province, each with their own unique circumstances and regional considerations. Legally defining what is essential risks cutting people off from goods that may legitimately be necessary for their health, well-being and safety.

What is essential work?

The stay-at-home order does not define what work or jobs are essential. Rather, it now mandates that anyone who can work from home must now do so. For example, someone working in retail obviously can’t do their job from home and would be permitted to go to work.

Why hasn’t the province defined who can or should work from home?

The Government of Ontario cannot review tens of millions of job descriptions to determine who can work from home. As such, we are relying on the best judgment and common sense of employers to determine who can do so. If an employee believes they should be working from home, they can contact the Ministry of Labour to file a health and safety complaint.

Why can people still gather in groups of five outdoors?

The outdoor gathering limit of five is in recognition of the fact that some people live alone and may require the company or support of others for their mental and physical well-being. Anyone gathering outside is expected to adhere to physical distancing measures and are now strongly urged to wear a mask.

Is there a limit on the number of times someone can leave their home in a day?

No. That said, we’re asking Ontarians to use their best judgement when leaving their home for essential reasons. While you're out, you should limit the number of stores you go to and spend as little time outside of your home as possible.

police don't have the authority to randomly stop residents on the street to make sure their trip is essential.