Last updated: January 14, 2021 at 5 p.m.

A province-wide declaration of emergency and stay-at-home order are in effect.

Read Toronto Public Health’s Guidance for Drive-in and Drive-through Events (also available below) and tips for the public attending drive-in and drive-through events.

On January 4, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Letter of Instruction to all employers in the City of Toronto permitted to be open under the Reopening Ontario Act. Employers permitted to be open are required to take the additional measures set out in this Letter to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Guidance for Drive-in & Drive-through Events

Toronto is currently in the Grey Zone of the provincial regulations (O. Reg. 82/20). The following guidance is intended to help organizers and staff plan drive-in and drive-through events while reducing the spread of COVID-19.

For general information on reopening businesses and workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the 4-Step Public Health Planning Guide. More information about COVID-19 can be found in the COVID-19 Fact Sheet.

What is permitted during lockdown (O. Reg. 82/20)

Drive-in and drive-through events are permitted only for the purposes of a wedding, funeral, religious service, rite or ceremony. They must adhere to the following requirements as per O. Reg. 82/20:

  • Every motor vehicle may only contain members of a single household plus a maximum of one additional person from outside that household who lives alone.
  • Each person in attendance must remain within their motor vehicle designed to be closed to the elements except where necessary to use the washroom or in an emergency.
  • A person who ordinarily uses a non-motorized vehicle because of their religious belief and who attends the gathering must remain within their non-motorized vehicle except where necessary to use a washroom or in an emergency.
  • Vehicles must be parked at least two metres/six feet away from other vehicles.

Note: Provincial gathering limits do not apply to drive-in and drive-through event/venues.

Drive-in and drive-through event/venue organizers are responsible for reducing the risk of infection among all those who participate in their activities (e.g. staff, volunteers, patrons).

Physical distancing

Physical distancing means keeping a distance of at least two metres/six feet from others you don’t live with. Plan and modify the layout of the event/venue to ensure enough space is provided for vehicles, patrons and staff to maintain physical distancing.

  • Calculate the maximum number of cars permitted to ensure at least two metres/six feet between them. Limit the number of cars permitted into the venue based on this calculation.
  • Direct patrons where to park to ensure they are separated by a minimum of two metres/six feet.
    • When all parking spaces are filled, allow one vehicle in for every one that leaves.
  • Ensure people remain in their vehicles except for using the washroom or in an emergency.
  • Monitor and manage patron lines:
    • Operators are required to ensure patrons keep two metres/six feet apart and wear a mask.
    • Place visual markers/cues spaced two metres/six feet apart (e.g. tape on the floor/ground, pylons, signs) to encourage physical distancing and guide patrons waiting in line.
    • Design a directional flow that encourages one-way movement with prominent signage and/or ground/floor markings.
  • Post physical distancing signs in highly visible areas.

Use of face masks/coverings

  • The use of masks or face coverings is required in all indoor public spaces (e.g. washrooms), as per a new City of Toronto bylaw and provincial regulations.
  • Operators must develop a policy on the wearing of masks. More information is available here.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment that covers the eyes, nose and mouth must be worn if, while providing service in an indoor area, the person
    • is required to come within two metres/six feet of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering; and
    • is not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier from a person described above.
  • Masks are strongly recommended when physical distancing cannot be maintained outdoors.
  • Train staff on the proper use of masks, including how to safely put on and take off a mask.
  • Masks do not replace the need for physical distancing, hand washing, and staying home when sick.

Measures for All Workplaces, Organizations & Businesses

Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and patrons safe, including:

  • Health screening for staff and patrons
  • Staff attendance and operations
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Managing COVID-19 in the workplace.

Safety plan

All businesses and workplaces must prepare and make available a safety plan. This safety plan must:

  • Describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business, place, facility or establishment to reduce spread of COVID-19.
  • Include measures for screening, physical distancing, masks, cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects and wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Be in writing and made available to any person for review on request.
  • Be posted in a visible place to come to the attention of those working or attending the location.

Food and Drink


  • Provide information to patrons about event/venue operations (e.g. public health measures, available amenities) through different platforms (e.g. event webpage, email, social media).
  • Encourage patrons to stay home if they are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Inform patrons that they are to remain in their vehicle, unless otherwise necessary (i.e. using the washroom or in an emergency).
  • Communicate to staff and patrons to refrain from socializing or congregating when returning to their vehicles in order to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
  • Encourage staff and attendees to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.
  • Discourage the idling of engines.
  • Post signs at the entrance indicating the conditions for entry, and not to attend the event if sick.
  • Post educational materials to encourage healthy behaviours that reduce the spread of COVID-19 such as COVID-19: Spread the Word and COVID-19 Fact Sheet.

Other resources