Last updated: May 6, 2021 at 6:45 p.m.
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout and why it is important to continue following public health measures that reduce virus spread. Review the Guide for Toronto residents for the latest information on what you should do and not do in the current stage of the pandemic.
Your actions can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The new COVID-19 variants of concern may spread more easily. It is more important than ever to follow public health practices. Stay home as much as possible and avoid contact with people you don’t live with, keep your distance from others, wear your mask, wash your hands frequently, and download the COVID Alert app.
Follow These Tips to Protect Yourself & Others
Apartments & Condominiums
Mandatory masks or face coverings in common areas
Under the City of Toronto’s Mask Bylaw you are required to wear a mask or face covering in enclosed common areas in apartment buildings and condominiums, such as elevators, hallways, lobbies, laundry rooms, and any other shared facilities.
What you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19
- Get a COVID-19 vaccination when available to you.
- Wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces, and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.
- Practice physical distancing by keeping at least two metres/six feet away from people you don’t live with.
- Gather indoors and outdoors only with those you live with.
- Wash hands with soap and water or use 70-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Download the COVID Alert app so you can be notified if you have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.
- See Reduce Virus Spread and the COVID-19 Guide for Residents for more information.
- Don’t shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing any virus that may be present into the air.
- Wash clothes with soap or detergent. Use the hottest water the fabric can handle and dry clothes completely — these steps help to kill the virus.
- Try to do your laundry at a time when there are fewer people using the laundry area.
- Disinfect the surfaces of all machines before and after you do your laundry, and don’t touch your face.
- Wash or disinfect your laundry bag/ hamper.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, or use a 70-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, immediately after handling dirty laundry.
- Limit your time in the shared laundry spaces (e.g. fold your clean laundry at home)
Elevators and building amenities
- Limit the number of people per elevator, and keep at least two metres/six feet from people you do not live with.
- Respect that members of the same household can use the elevator without needing to physically distance.
- Gather only with people you live with to use / enjoy building amenities.
- Expect having to make an appointment to use building amenities.
- Expect extra time between appointments to allow for cleaning and disinfecting.
- If possible, pick up deliveries in the lobby to reduce the number of visitors in the building.
- Ask for deliveries to be made directly to your unit only when necessary, such as if you are self-isolating, caring for a family member or require accessibility support.
Property management must:
- Create a policy to ensure building staff, residents and guests wear a mask or face covering while in indoor common areas, including elevators, hallways and lobbies.
- Ensure workers, such as repair people and contractors, wear masks or face coverings inside the building and in apartment units.
- Provide 70-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer in all essential common areas that remain open such as laundry areas and lobbies.
- Ensure high-touch surfaces in common areas are cleaned at least twice per day and when visibly dirty, including doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet handles, counters, hand rails, touch screen surfaces and keypads.
- Provide advance notice of any upcoming urgent work that requires access to resident units
- Reduce the number of service or other requests that require entry into residential units, and limit these to essential services while following provincial recommendations.
- Place markers (e.g. floor markings, pylons) around the building to encourage physical distancing (e.g. at the front desk, outside and inside elevators).
- Post signs in visible locations to raise awareness about preventing the spread of COVID-19.
*If tenants are unable to resolve issues around following public health guidelines with their landlord or property manager, they can call 311 or email: email@example.com.
Download this information as a PDF (also available in Amharic | Arabic | Bengali | Dari | Farsi | French | Gujarati | Pashto | Portuguese | Punjabi | Simplified Chinese | Somali | Spanish | Tamil | Urdu | Vietnamese).
Toronto Public Health has created guidance documents for commercial and residential buildings. The City of Toronto has created signage that building operators can print off and display in common areas.
Being Active & Getting Outdoors
Residents may go outside for exercise.
- Stay home if you are sick
- Socialize only with people in your own household
- Wear a cloth mask or face covering when it is difficult to maintain physical distance
- Avoid crowded places, and try to visit when the park is less busy
- Do not gather with people outside your household
- Do not arrange play dates for children
- Step aside or pass others quickly and courteously on walking paths and trails
- Wash or sanitize your hands often and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
- Bring and take home your own sports equipment and toys
- Clean toys with soap and water thoroughly when you return home
Learn what park amenities are open and closed.
Sports & Recreational Fitness Activities
All indoor and outdoor gyms and recreational programs are closed, with limited exceptions (i.e. use by professional and high-performing athletes, and access to physical therapy for individuals with a disability as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act).
Outdoor play for dogs and their owners is encouraged to stay active and healthy. Keep everyone safe, including your dog, by keeping your dog on a leash when outdoors, and by following these tips when visiting an off-leash dog area:
- Stay home if you or your dog are sick
- Keep two metres (six feet) distance from other owners and dogs
- Avoid the area if crowded and come back at another time
- Wear a cloth mask or face covering if it is difficult to maintain distance
- Wash or sanitize your hands after touching surfaces (e.g. gates)
- Clean any dog toys thoroughly with soap and water when you return home
For more information, read the use of dogs off-leash guidelines and find a dog off-leash area.
Also read Toronto Public Health’s guidance for using outdoor recreational amenities.
- Follow caregiver guidelines provided by Toronto Public Health, as indicated on the posted signage
- Teach your children proper handwashing, to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and to cover their cough
- Wash or sanitize your hands often and before and after using the playground
- Monitor yourself and your child for symptoms of COVID-19
- Stay home if you or your child is sick
- Bring your own hand sanitizer, wipes, water, sunscreen and personal items
- Keep a distance of two metres (six feet) from others
- Wear a mask or face covering when it is difficult to maintain physical distancing; do not apply a mask on children under the age of two
- If a playground is busy, find another park or come back later.
Toronto Public Health has created a guidance document for owners and operators of outdoor playgrounds and fitness equipment to help children play safely at reopened playgrounds.
Indoor and outdoor dining is not permitted. Take-out, drive-thru and delivery options remain available and are strongly encouraged to support local businesses.
Also read Toronto Public Health’s guidance for food safety and grocery shopping.
Faith-Based Services & Events
On April 16, the Government of Ontario announced that effective Saturday, April 17 at 12:01 a.m., all indoor and outdoor social gatherings and organized public events are prohibited, except for members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone, or a caregiver for any member of the household.
Restrict gatherings to people you live with only. Having family or friends who are not members of your household in your home for a social visit is prohibited under provincial orders. Essential support workers and emergency repairpersons are permitted.
Non-essential travel outside of one’s own community is strongly discouraged. The City’s bylaws on physical distancing in City parks and squares and the mandatory mask or face covering bylaw for indoor public spaces remain in effect.
Read Toronto Public Health’s guidance for indoor and outdoor events and gatherings.
Bus, Streetcar & Subway
- Do not use public transit if you are sick or self-isolating
- Wear a cloth mask or face covering (masks are now mandatory on the TTC and GO Transit)
- Avoid travelling during peak hours if possible
- Use your elbow/arm to push buttons/open doors
- Keep a distance of two meters (six feet) from others if possible
- Throw your garbage in a bin
- Wash or sanitize your hands often and avoid touching your face
- Avoid lineups at PRESTO refill stations by loading money onto your PRESTO card online or using their app
Learn more about mandatory masks and face coverings, changes to boarding, payments, and cleaning practices on the TTC and GO Transit websites.
Download the Using Public Transit during COVID-19 infographic (also available in Amharic | Arabic | Bengali | Dari | Farsi | French | Gujarati | Pashto | Portuguese | Punjabi | Simplified Chinese | Somali | Spanish | Tamil | Urdu | Vietnamese).
Driving, Walking & Cycling
Learn about ActiveTO which provides quiet streets, closing of major roads for active transportation, and expanding the cycling network to help people get around while practising physical distancing.
Taxis & Ride Shares
- Sit in the back and keep the windows open
- Wear a cloth mask or face covering
- Wash or sanitizer your hands when you reach your destination
Learn about guidelines for taxi and ride share operators.
Toronto Island Ferry
- Stay home if you are sick
- You must purchase tickets in advance and tickets are only valid for the date selected
- Washrooms at the terminal and at Toronto Island Park are open. Learn how to safely use public washrooms
- Passengers are required to wear masks or face coverings
- Keep two meters (six feet) apart from others
- Frequently wash your hands and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
Visit All Ferry Schedules for seasonal departure times. During the winter schedule, the ferry goes to Ward’s Island only. Some facilities may be closed.
During the COVID-19 pandemic there is a greater need for goods and services. One way to support individuals, families and the community is to donate money, or new and gently-used items to a charitable organization. Donations by credit card, gift card, cheque, or e-transfer allow organizations to purchase the goods they need, often at better prices. This way of giving is also safer for the donor, staff and volunteers.
- Do not donate items if you or someone in your household is unwell.
- Call or visit the organization’s website to find out what items they need or will accept.
- Follow directions from the organization on how and where to make the donation.
- If delivering the donation in-person, stay at least two metres/six feet from others and wear a mask.
- Wash your hands before and after handling donated items.
Donating clothes, electronics and other household items
- Items which are new or gently used are generally preferred.
- Check the donation items to make sure they are in good condition.
- Clothing should be clean, without stains or rips, and all buttons and zippers should be working.
- Electronic goods should be in working order.
- Dishware should not have chips or cracks.
- Personal care items such as soap, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products should be unused and in original/sealed packaging.
- Toy drives typically ask for new toys in their original packaging (for infection prevention and control purposes).
- Package new stuffed toys in a clean, clear plastic bag for easy handling.
- Consider donating items for newborn babies.
- Tween and teen items are also needed. Consider gift cards, books, board games, arts and craft kits, sporting goods, digital music players, electronics, backpacks, school supplies, makeup kits, hair dryer, curling irons, jewellery, hat, gloves and scarves.
Donating food items
- Donate items that reduce the risk of food-borne illness, such as:
- Non-perishable food items, as they can be kept for a long period of time.
- Pre-packaged food such as cereal, rice or pasta, and canned goods.
- Food products must be in their original/sealed packaging and in good condition. They should not be past the best-before or expiry date.
- Homemade food items should not be permitted.
Organizing a donation drive
- Clearly communicate the goal of your donation drive, including who the donations are for, the type of items you are looking for, and how they should be packaged for delivery or pick-up.
- Donation drives and events must comply with current provincial gathering limits.
The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is greater for certain groups of the population, including people who are: older adults; living with an underlying medical condition or a weakened immune system (e.g. due to a medical condition or treatment); living on a low income; under-housed or experiencing homelessness; or living in congregate settings such as retirement homes or rooming houses.
Organizations should consider the vulnerability of employees, volunteers, and clients when planning their donation drives.
- Masks must be worn in indoor public places, and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult. Consider face shields or goggles if staff will be within two metres/six feet of others.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) before and after handling donations.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces, including surfaces which donated food had contact with (e.g., tables, shelving, bins).
- If playing recorded music, keep the volume low to avoid having people talk louder.
- Eating and drinking indoors is not permitted, unless the volunteer is in a separate room, away from other people.
Donation drop-off, pick-up or deliveries
- Create a safe location outside for people to drop off donations. Do not use large, enclosed donation bins as there is a risk of people falling in.
- Use contactless drop-off / delivery / pick-up methods, if possible.
- If donations are picked up or delivered, only staff from the same household should ride in the same vehicle.
- Contact clients in advance to schedule a delivery / pick-up time, when possible.
- Prepare smaller bags or box donations for easier carrying and delivery.
- Avoid entering people’s homes. Deliver and / or ask donors to leave the package at front door.
- Wash your hands before and after handling donations.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect all touched surfaces.
Organizers should review the COVID-19 Guidance for Food Banks & Donation Centres for more information, and use this checklist to support planning the drive.
Customers purchasing or receiving donated goods
- Wash your hands before and after handling items.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces which had contact with the donated items (e.g. countertops) after putting away items.
- Wash vegetables and fruit under cold running water before cooking and/or eating them.
- Wash ceramic, glass and other household items with soap and warm water.
- Launder clothing/sheets/towels and other fabrics on high heat settings (wash and dry), if possible.
- Wash reusable shopping bags.
- For items that cannot be cleaned or disinfected, set aside for up to seven days.
There is little risk of getting COVID-19 from food or food packaging. In general, you can lower your risk of infection by following safe food handling practices.
More information can be found in the COVID-19 Guidance When Shopping for Essentials.
Outdoor Recreational Amenities
The following checklist will help you understand the current rules and regulations for using outdoor recreational amenities (e.g. parks, tennis courts, golf courses, sports fields) and what steps should be taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Under the provincial Shutdown Order (O. Reg. 82/20)
The following outdoor recreational amenities remain open:
- off leash dog areas
- park benches
- outdoor playgrounds
- outdoor play structures
- outdoor play equipment
The following outdoor recreational amenities must be closed:
- all outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, including: baseball diamonds, soccer fields, frisbee golf locations, tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts, basketball courts, BMX parks, and skate parks
- all portions of park and recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment
- all outdoor picnic sites and picnic tables in park and recreational areas
Activities that require individuals coming within two metres/six feet of others outside your household are not permitted.
Some of the locations where these activities take place are not managed by an organization or operator. Members of the public are responsible for following provincial and local regulations and recommendations.
Preparing for the activity
- Download the COVID Alert app so you can be notified directly if you have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.
- Book a reservation in advance, if required.
- Complete a self-screening assessment before leaving home. If you answer yes to any of the questions, do not participate in the activity. Stay home, self-isolate and call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, your health care provider or an Assessment Centre to get tested.
- Dressing rooms, locker rooms and clubhouses are closed. Dress/put on equipment at home as much as possible.
- Bring your own equipment. Pack only essentials (e.g. water bottle, towel, equipment) and limit personal items as much as possible.
- Wear your mask or face covering to the activity.
During the activity
- Do not use any portion of a recreational area or amenity that is required to be closed.
- If the facility / area looks crowded or has reached its capacity limit, come back another time.
- Know and adhere to all facility policies and procedures.
- Provide your name and contact information if asked by facility staff to be used for public health contact tracing purposes, if required.
- Respect current provincial gathering limits. Enjoy the activity with those you live with.
- Clean hands often with soap and water or 70-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Wear a mask or face covering at all times when indoors, and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.
- Follow directions from the facility if masks are required during the activity.
- Follow directions from the facility for where to keep personal items. Place items at least two metres away from others.
- Remain at least two metres from people you don’t live with at all times, including while engaging in the activity, waiting in lines, using amenities (e.g. washroom), etc.
- Avoid activities where you may come into close contact with others you don’t live with (i.e. where you will be less than two metres apart).
- Do not use or touch equipment or fixed structures that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between each use.
- Do not share personal items (e.g. water bottle, clothes, equipment).
- Food service premises on site are open for take-away only.
- Music played in the facility cannot exceed the decibel level at which normal conversation is possible.
After the activity
- If your mask or face covering was removed, put it on as soon as possible after the activity.
- Clean your hands with soap and water or 70-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Pack up and head home immediately after the activity. Do not linger to socialize or otherwise.
- Clean and disinfect any equipment that was used (e.g. racket, club, pole).
- Launder clothes, including coats, mittens, towels, etc., in the warmest possible setting and dry completely, if required.
Download this information as a PDF.
Personal Care Services (Haircuts, Tattoos, Nails, etc.)
All hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and tattoo parlours are closed.
Retail Stores & Shopping Malls
A Section 22 order
under the Health Protection and Promotion Act requires all elementary and secondary school students to transition to online/remote learning starting April 7.
Read Toronto Public Health’s school information for parents and caregivers, including tips on how to prepare for school during COVID-19 and what parents need to know if there is a case of COVID-19 at school.
Visiting City of Toronto Long-Term Care Homes
- Wear a mask or face covering if it is difficult to maintain physical distance and in indoor public spaces
- Only share a washroom stall with people from your household
- Stagger your entrance into and exit from public washrooms in an effort to maintain physical distance
- If the washroom is busy, go to another washroom or return at a different time
- Where possible, utilize electronic push buttons or sensors to open doors, turn on sinks, flush toilets
- Wash or sanitize your hands when entering and prior to exiting a public washroom
- Avoid touching frequently touched hard surfaces
- If possible, use every other stall and sink
- To meet physical distancing guidelines, some sinks and urinals may be closed off
- Public washrooms may have reduced hours of operation to allow for enhanced cleaning
Residents and visitors can access winterized washrooms in parks and recreation facilities.
In addition, the City has opened a number of facilities with showers and water for individuals in need of these services.
Download the Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Public Washrooms poster (also available in tabloid size).