Most Provinces Announce Strategies to Reopen Economies – Updated August 14/20

Provinces and Territories across the Country have been implementing plans in various forms to reopen the Canadian economy. We have summarized these plans below.


Ontario is following a three-stage to reopen the economy, first announced on April 27, 2020, as A Framework for Reopening the Province (available here).  As proposed, the three-stage plan follows a gradual loosening of restrictions, with 2-4 week assessment periods to consider the daily impact on new COVID-19 cases.  Ontario has recently entered into Stage 2 of the plan. Highlights of the plan:

Stage 1

  • Began May 19;
  • Allowing select businesses that are able to immediately meet or modify operations to meet public health guidance and occupational health and safety requirements (eg. curbside pick-up or delivery);
  • Limited reopening of select business such as certain essential constriction projects, retail with a street-front entrance, motor vehicle dealerships, media operations, emissions inspection facilities, research and development, seasonal activities and services, certain sport activity, some health care services, pet services, libraries,  and household services.

Stage 2

  • Began on June 12th for most regions
  • Toronto Public Health and Peel Public Health regions entered Stage 2 on June 24, 2020 and the Windsor-Essex region entered Stage 2 on June 25th, with some exceptions;
  • Opening places of worship with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30% of the building capacity;
  • Increased the limit on social gatherings from 5 to 10;
  • Opened places of worship with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30% of the building capacity;
  • Opened more business on a regional basis based on risk assessments. At the beginning of each week, the Government will provide an update on the ongoing assessment of regions not yet approved to enter Stage 2;
  • Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include some outdoor dine-in services, select personal care services and shopping malls, tour guide services, more outdoor spaces, weddings/funerals of 10 people, as well as child care centres.
  • More information for businesses and services permitted to operate in Stage 2 can be found  here.

Stage 3

  • Opening all workplaces;
  • Further relaxing restrictions on public gatherings, which still restricting large public gatherings – such as concerts and sporting events – for the foreseeable future.

Underscoring all of these stages is the need to continue to protect vulnerable populations and the requirement to continue practices of physical/social distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene.

In order to be considered a “safe workplace”, it is expected that the workplace have a plan that promotes and adheres to strict hygiene and sanitation standards, and provides for physical/social distancing to the extent possible.  This may require adjusting both work practices and physical environments.  The Province has also released workplace safety guidelines, discussed in more detail in our recent In a Flash Ontario Announces Safety Guidelines for Employers for the Gradual Re-Opening of the Economy.

British Columbia

British Columbia is following a four phase Restart Plan for re-opening the province (available here), first announced on May 6, 2020.  The Plan is somewhat unique in comparison to other provincial re-opening plans, as only a small number of sectors in British Columbia were closed by public health order.

Since June 24th, BC has been in Phase 3 of the Plan. The focus of Phase 3 is to encourage safe travel within the Province, which, until Phase 3, had been discouraged unless essential.    As part of Phase 3, the Province has communicated the following expectations, which, as mentioned, largely relate to the Province’s encouragement of travel within BC:

  • While never ordered to close, more businesses operating in the accommodation industry are likely to re-open as Phase 3 commences. The Province is expecting such businesses to operate consistently with the protocols set by WorkSafeBC and the Provincial Health Officer;
  • BC Parks campground and backcountry camping reservations opened for BC residents on June 1st;
  • Employers in the motion picture and television production industries that resume operations must also ensure they are compliant with WorkSafeBC protocols and orders/guidance from the Provincial Health Officer; and,
  • Full-time, in-class learning for students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 is expected to resume in September of 2020 as part of Stage 3.

Guidelines and safety precautions for sectors in Phase 2 are still in place during Phase 3.

Sectors that were previously ordered closed are still expected to work with WorkSafeBC to develop plans to reopen safely and in compliance with public health orders. WorkSafeBC has developed industry-specific guidance to help employers bring workers and customers back safely.

Any business restarting operations must ensure it is in compliance with the provincial health officer’s orders and all applicable occupational health and safety guidance provided by WorkSafeBC.

Phase 4 will only be achieved once the threat of COVID-19 has been significantly diminished through widespread vaccination, broad successful treatment, evidence of community immunity, or the equivalent.


Consistent with other provinces, Alberta has adopted a staged approach to reopening businesses and services, announced on April 30, 2020 as the Province’s its Relaunch Strategy in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic (available here). The approach involves three stages, with the first having commenced on May 14. Stage 2 began on Friday, June 12.

The Relaunch Strategy included some preliminary actions to prioritize the resumption of certain health services and access to certain outdoor activities on an immediate basis. This included the resumption of certain scheduled, non-urgent surgeries; access to health service providers such as dentists; and the re-opening of campsites and golf courses.

Stage One

  • Began May 14;
  • Limited reopening of certain businesses including, for example, retail business (e.g. clothing), some personal services (e.g. hairstyling and barber shops), daycares and summer camps (with limits on occupancy), and restaurants (with no bar service and public seating limited at 50% capacity); and
  • In-school classes for K to 12 students have not resumed and gatherings of more than 15 people will continue to be prohibited.

Stage Two

  • Began on June 12;
  • Additional businesses were allowed to resume operations with physical distancing requirements and other public health guidelines in place including, wellness services, personal services, and movie theatres;
  • Events and gatherings can be larger, to a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. There will be no restriction on the number of people attending worship gatherings, restaurants, cafes, lounges and bars, casinos, and bingo halls so long as there are public health measures in place;
  • Relaxation of restrictions on indoor and outdoor recreation, fitness and sports centres (ex. gyms and swimming pools), concerts, casinos and bingo halls that were initially to be part of Stage 3 were moved forward to Stage 2.

Stage Three

  • Timing will depend on the success of the earlier stages; and
  • Will involve fully reopening all businesses, services and the resumption of mass gatherings with some restrictions.

The Government of Alberta has been clear that progressing through the different stages of the Relaunch Strategy is conditional on keeping infection rates within the capacity of the healthcare system. During each stage of the relaunch, hygiene practices and physical distancing requirements will continue to apply.


On April 23, 2020, Saskatchewan announced the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan (available here), a five-phase plan designed to gradually and cautiously re-open businesses and services across the province. Currently, Saskatchewan is in Phase 4.

Phase 1

Phase 1 began on May 4, 2020, with the reopening of:

  • Medical services, such as dentists, optometrists, physical therapy, opticians, podiatrists and chiropractors, among others;
  • Low-risk outdoor recreational activities, such as fishing, boating, golf courses and campgrounds (which started May 15, 2020);
  • Retails stores and salon services (which started May 19, 2020); and
  • Public and private gatherings remained limited to a maximum of 10 people.

Phase 2

Phase 2 began on May 19, 2020. Certain retail businesses and select personal services were permitted to reopen, under certain conditions. The size restrictions of public and private gatherings remained at a maximum of ten people.

Phase 3

Phase 3 began on June 8, 2020. The following businesses and services were able to begin operating:

  • Places of worship;
  • Restaurants and licensed establishments;
  • Gyms and fitness facilities;
  • Child care facilities; and
  • Personal care services that did not re-open in Phase 2

Capacity limits remained in some facilities, all businesses and customers were expected to maintain physical distancing practices, guidelines and recommendations and, other than in allowable businesses, the size of public and private gatherings was increased to a maximum of 15 people.

Phase 4

Phase 4 began on June 22, 2020. With the expectation that all businesses and customers maintain physical distancing practices, guidelines and recommendations, the first half of Phase 4 includes:

  • The re-opening of youth and child day camps, outdoor pools and spray parks, and seasonal/recreational outdoor sports and activities; and
  • An increase in permissible gathering sizes to 30 people.

The second half of Phase 4, which commenced on June 29, 2020, permits the re-opening of libraries, museums, galleries, movie theatres, and live theatres. The re-opening of indoor sports and activities, indoor pools, indoor rinks, casinos and bingo halls are set to open during Phase 4, but the Province has not yet set a date.

Phase 5

Will involve potentially lifting some long-term restrictions, including on the size of permissible public gatherings.


Manitoba is currently in Phase Three of their Restoring Safe Services plan.

Phase Three will be implemented no sooner than June 21. The following changes may be made:

  • Relaxing occupancy limits of 50% capacity indoors and 100 people outdoors;
  • Removal of the requirement for travellers between Manitoba and western provinces to self-isolate for two weeks
  • Occupancy limits lifted for retailers, restaurants, bars and similar businesses, so long as social distancing can be maintained; and
  • Re-opening of certain indoor recreation facilities, with capacity and other limitations

Some of the measures introduced in Phase 2 included the following:

  • Effective May 22, 2020, public gatherings of 25 people are allowed indoors and 50 people outdoors, so long as physical distancing can be maintained;
  • Effective June 1, 2020, manicurists and pedicurists, tattoo parlours, estheticians, cosmetologists, electrologists and tanning parlours were permitted to reopen at 50% capacity, if they implement measures to ensure members of the public are reasonably able to maintain physical distancing; and
  • Effective June 1, 2020, restaurants and bars are permitted to reopen patios and indoor spaces at 50 percent capacity.

Future phases are expected to involve the following:

  • Further opening of personal services businesses;
  • Further opening of public/private indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spas, fitness clubs and gyms;
  • Easing of travel restrictions;
  • Consideration of reopening casinos;
  • No large gatherings or events until at least September 2020; and
  • No overnight camps for the foreseeable future.


Quebec has announced a detailed plan for the resumption of activities across the province (available here). 

  • All economic activity sectors are authorized to resume except festivals, major events, and regular vacation camps with accommodation, with specific rules in place;
  • Indoor private gatherings in homes are limited to no more than 10 people;
  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed in some public places;
  • Tourism industry businesses and establishments are authorized to resume activities, with certain conditions;
  • Indoor and outdoor sports and leisure activities may resume, with certain conditions. This excludes combat in certain sports; and
  • Relaxation of selected confinement measures for living and rehabilitation environments for seniors and people with disabilities or autism spectrum disorder.

New Brunswick

On April 24, 2020, New Brunswick announced the loosening some of its physical/social distancing measures after seven straight days with no new cases of COVID-19, including:

  • Parks, beaches and golf courses
  • Universities and colleges are able to open parts of campuses under certain conditions
  • Religious services, provided they are outside, with physical distancing measures in place

Presently, large gatherings (such as festivals and concerts) are prohibited in New Brunswick through to the end of the year, but that is subject to change.

The province’s plan to re-open businesses, educational facilities, the health care system recreational activities and cultural events in New Brunswick are to be guided by four distinct public health alert levels:

  • Red –Aimed at flattening the curve and containing the virus
  • Orange – Creating balance between reopening and preventing resurgence of transmission of virus
  • Yellow – Further increase reopening of social and economic settings after ability to control transmission has been demonstrated
  • Green – Likely comes after vaccine is available and/or sufficient information is available about how to protect people from the virus

More information about New Brunswick’s Recovery Plan can be found here.

On May 8, 2020, the province moved into Phase 2 – Orange level of its re-opening plan. Phase 2 re-openings and activities include:

  • Elective surgeries and other non-emergency health services, including dental, physiotherapy, optometry and massage therapy;
  • Outdoor public gatherings, with physical distancing, of 10 or fewer people;
  • Indoor public gatherings, with physical distancing, of 10 or fewer people for in-person religious services, weddings and funerals;
  • All in-person programs at post-secondary institutions, subject to the COVID-19 directives from Public Health with virtual education options continued wherever possible;
  • Cultural venues such as museums, galleries and libraries;
  • Offices not deemed essential during the initial phase;
  • Retail establishments, including malls;
  • Restaurants;
  • Campgrounds and outdoor recreational activities, such as zoos and outfitters;
  • Early learning and child care centres regulated by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will be permitted to reopen as of May 19, 2020;
  • Non-regulated child care providers may open but must adhere to Public Health guidelines, including having an operational plan;
  • Day camps, if the organization can adhere to Public Health measures set out in the document called COVID-19 Recovery Phase: Guidance to Early Learning and Childcare Facilities and Day Camps.
  • ATV trails across the province.

New Brunswick moved into Phase 3- Yellow level of its re-opening plan, on May 22, 2020, permitting  non-regulated health professionals and businesses toopen as well as personal services establishments such as barbers, hairstylists, spas, estheticians and tattoo artists.

On June 5, 2020, indoor gatherings of 10 people or less were permitted, outdoor public gatherings of 50 people or less were permitted with physical distancing as will religious services and funerals with 50 people or less, elective surgeries and non-emergency health care services increased and low-contact team sports were permitted so long as steps are taken to limit the number and intensity of contact. Pools, saunas, gyms, yoga studios, dance studios, rinks, indoor recreational centres and bowling alleys were permitted to reopen. Outdoor visits with up to 2 visitors for residents in long-term care facilities were permitted with physical distancing.

On June 19, 2020 overnight camps were allowed to open, indoor visits with 1 visitor at a time for residents of long-term care facilities was permitted.Canadian residents owning property in New Brunswick were permitted to enter so long as they follow self-isolation requirements as wereCanadian residents with immediate family in New Brunswick so long as they follow self-isolation requirements. All organized sports were permitted with appropriate distancing and the cap on the number of people gathering in a controlled venue has been lifted and isnowbased on the ability to maintain physical distancing between participants. Venues with indoor events with controlled entry or seating must maintain records of users’ contact information to allow Public Health to conduct targeted follow-up should there be COVID-19 exposure.

As of June 26, 2020, all remaining businesses reopened with appropriate distancing, sanitizing and operations plans and Zone 5 moved to the Yellow level with the rest of New Brunswick

Face masks must be worn in public if physical distancing cannot be maintained and businesses must prepare an operational plan that can be provided to officials if requested. Details on operational plans can be found here.

Effective July 3, 2020, interprovincial travel within Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island began permitting without the requirement to self-isolate for Atlantic Canadian residents who have not travelled outside of the Atlantic provinces for any reason in the past 14 days,  who have not been advised to self-isolate, who do not have COVID-19 symptoms or who are not awaiting COVID-19 test results. This latest step in the reopening process has been dubbed the “Atlantic Bubble”.

On August 11, 2020, New Brunswick announced changes to the alert levels and triggers in an effort to reduce the impact of a potential second wave of COVID-19:

  • Red –  This level will apply when COVID-19 is no longer under control and strong restrictions to limit unnecessary movement of people and contacts is necessary. A broader range of businesses will continue to operate so long as appropriate public health measures are in place. Single-household bubbles with the ability to add formal or informal caregivers and immediate family members will be implemented. Daycares will remain open and school will be limited to virtual instruction, with teachers and school employees working at schools. Primary care providers and regulated health professionals will be able to continue to offer services utilizing virtual whenever possible.
  • Orange – This level will apply when there is a significant risk that COVID-19 is no longer under control and restrictions on non-essential contact activities is required. Public venues with seating will be allowed to reduce physical distancing to 1m with continuous use of a mask; unregulated health professionals will be able to operate; close contact personal services such as barbers, hair stylists and spas will remain closed; and two-household bubbles with the ability to add formal or informal caregivers as well as members of immediate family will be implemented.
  • Yellow –  This level currently applies as COVID-19 is considered controlled but there is a risk of community transmission. Public venues with seating will be allowed to reduce physical distancing to 1m with continuous use of a mask, effective August 17, 2020, with distancing of 2m required if food or drinks are consumed.
  • Green – This level will represent the end of the pandemic and all directives specific to COVID-19 will be lifted.

Prince Edward Island

On April 28, 2020, the Government of Prince Edward Island announced Renew PEI, Together (available here) – PEI’s plan to re-open businesses, services and public spaces. The plan implements a progressive approach to lifting restrictions in four separate phases over three-week periods. Progression through the stages will be evaluated based on public health information and progression will be slowed, halted or reversed depending on public health concerns. Organizations and businesses will not be required to re-open at the initiation of the relevant phase and may choose to continue operations in a manner and timeline with which they are comfortable.

Phase 1

  • Begins May 1, 2020
  • Non-contact outdoor recreational activities and limited outdoor gatherings will be permitted, such as walking, hiking, recreational fishing and golfing
  • Gatherings limited to no more than 5 people from different households, physical distancing must be maintained and there should be no sharing of items
  • Certain outdoor and construction services such as landscaping, outdoor construction, new construction and pool maintenance were permitted to reopen to provide services to the public
  • Priority public services and priority non-urgent health services, including certain elective surgeries and other screening and supports, as well as health service providers (physiotherapist, optometrists, opticians, chiropractors, foot care providers, occupational therapists and naturopaths) may resume operations

Phase 2

  • Began May 22, 2020
  • Indoor gatherings of no more than 5 people, non-contact indoor recreational activities and outdoor gatherings of no more than 10 people from different households are permitted while maintaining physical distancing and no sharing of items
  • Select retail and indoor service providers such as retail stores (no trying on clothing in store), construction, maintenance and repair services, cleaning and restoration, extermination services, car washes, bottle depots, hairstylists, barbers and pet grooming may resume operation, but are required to take every reasonable steps to minimize interaction and maintain physical distancing
  • All unlicensed and licensed child care providers may re-open and additional non-urgent health care services such as additional elective surgeries, registered massage therapists, acupuncturists and acupressurists may resume operations

Phase 3

  • Began June 1, 2020
  • Indoor gatherings of no more than 15 people, and outdoor gatherings of no more than 20 people are permitted with physical distancing being maintained and sharing of items when necessary and with some precautions
  • Organized recreational activities and facilities such as organized sports, pools, arenas, gyms, yoga studios, as well as public spaces such as libraries and art galleries may be permitted to re-open
  • Personal services, indoor dinning and accommodations for PEI residents only, such as nail salons, tattoo and piercing studios, campgrounds, inns, bed and breakfasts can also re-open
  • Restrictions on indoor dining will prohibit the use of recreational spaces (for example, dance floors, VLTs and pool tables), buffet style serving and the sharing of utensils, and only members of the same household are permitted to dine together
  • Seasonal residents must apply for visit Prince Edward Island and must provide a self-isolation plan
  • Expansion of child care services
  • Health care and public services will also progress to further, non-urgent services

Home-based learning with some limited activities continued throughout all three phases, as did visitor restrictions for long-term care facilities and traveller screening and self-isolation requirements

Phase 4

  • Began on June 26th, 2020;
  • Organized gatherings of up to 50 people have been re-introduced, including for worship services, organized sports, day camps, funerals and weddings;
  • Indoor gatherings of no more than 15 people, and outdoor gatherings of no more than 20 people permitted with physical distancing being maintained and sharing of items when necessary and with some precautions
  • Indoor visits with up to 2 individuals at one time and additional access for clergy is permitted at long-term care facilities
  • Additional businesses providing personal services can reopen
  • Accommodations are now open for non-PEI residents, including campgrounds, hospitality homes, inns and bed and breakfasts;
  • Licensed child care centres can accept an additional 3 children between 22 months and school age; and
  • All non-urgent health care services are resuming.

Prince Edward Island businesses are also required to have an operational plan to address public health measures. An operational plan template can be found here.

Nova Scotia

On May 1, 2020, Nova Scotia announced the first steps in lifting some of the public health restrictions. As of 3:00pm AST May 1, 2020, the following steps have been taken:

  • Provincial and municipal parks, including sports fields and school grounds can reopen, with the exception of beaches within provincial parks and playgrounds;
  • Trails are now open;
  • Community gardens can reopen;
  • Cottages can be used but not rented, travel back and forth must be direct and frequent travel between cottage and primary residence is discouraged;
  • Sport fishing is now permitted from shore or a boat, with the exception of fishing derbies;
  • Driving ranges can open, including those at golf courses and golf courses can open to perform necessary maintenance;
  • Drive-in religious services are permitted so long as individuals remain in their cars, cars are parked 2m apart and there are no interactions;
  • Garden centres, nurseries and similar businesses can reopen.
  • Archery, equestrianism, golf, paddling, sailing/boating and tennis can resume at outdoor facilities provided that physical distancing, environmental cleaning and participant hygiene can be maintained, but organized coaching, training and competitions are not permitted.
  • Restaurants can operate at 100% capacity and serve patrons until 12:00am with appropriate distancing;
  • Bars, wineries, distilleries and taprooms can reopen;
  • Personal services, such as hair salons and barber shops, spas, nail salons and body art establishments can reopen;
  • Fitness facilities can reopen;
  • Public pools can reopen with physical distancing for lawn swimming and aquafit classes and one or more groups of 10 for other activities based on pool size
  • Private campgrounds can open for all types of campers and can operate at 100% capacity;
  • Veterinary services can resume;
  • Summer day camps can reopen;
  • Childcare sector can reopen at 50% capacity and move up to 100% capacity if public health guidelines can be met;.
  • Dentistry and other self-regulated health professions such as optometry, chiropractic and physiotherapy can resume operations so long as they follow the protocols set out by their colleges and associations as approved by public health; and
  • Unregulated health professions such as massage therapy, podiatry and naturopathy can resume operations so long as they follow the protocols set out by their colleges and associations as approved by public health.

Businesses must follow public health protocols related to their respective sectors, including physical distancing, increased cleaning and other protective measures for staff and customers. Details of all sector-specific plans are not yet available to the public, but information regarding those that have been released can be found here and guidance from the government can be found here.

On July 1, 2020, some provincial museums reopen. Non-medical masks must be worn in most indoor public places, subject to some exceptions.

Newfoundland & Labrador

On April 30, 2020, Newfoundland and Labrador announced a plan to reopen the economy, following a “five alert” system, beginning at Alert Level 5 (details available here).  The intention is to gradually move up and down through the alert levels, as needed, with continued monitoring of COVID-19 within the community. 

Alert Level 5

  • The public is encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, except to get essentials like groceries and medications
  • Limit contact with others to those within immediate household bubble
  • Prohibition on public gatherings of more than 5 people
  • Funerals, wakes and visitations prohibited
  • Burials and weddings are limited to 5 people, including the officiant
  • Campgrounds, playgrounds, gyms, fitness centres and dance studios are closed
  • Independent outdoor recreational activities are encouraged so long as physical/social distancing can be maintained
  • Private health care clinics are closed, except physicians and nurse practitioners
  • Urgent and emergent care is allowed, along with virtual options for non-urgent care
  • Restrictions in place on health care visitations
  • Orders in place for long term care, personal care homes, and assisted living
  • Retails stores not providing services essential to life, health or personal safety are closed for in-person service; delivery and curbside pickup are permitted
  • Restaurants are closed for in-person dining; take-out, delivery and drive-thru are permitted
  • Bars, lounges, cinemas and personal service establishments are closed

Alert Level 4 – Current level

  • Household bubble can be expanded to include one other household (effective Apr 30 2020)
  • Public gatherings expanded to 10 people as long as physical/social distancing can be maintained
  • Gatherings at funerals, burials and weddings expanded to 10 people
  • Visitations and wakes prohibited
  • Recreational angling, hunting and golfing will be permitted, with restrictions
  • Municipal parks (excluding playground equipment) will be allowed to open
  • Regional health authorities will begin to allow some health care services to resume
  • Some daycare operations will be expanded
  • Professional services, such as accounting firms, law firms and financial services, will be allowed to offer in-person services
  • In-person worker and workplace safety training will be permitting
  • Gardening centres can open for in-person sales and service
  • Landscaping, lawn care and animal daycares can resume operations

The focus of Alert Level 4 is to begin to relax public health measures to allow for more social and business activities, while minimizing the risk of outbreaks.  It will take at least 28 days at Alert Level 4 to determine whether it is safe to move to Alert Level 3.

Alert Level 3

  • Household bubble can expand beyond 2 households (details to be provided)
  • Public gatherings expanded to 20 people as long as physical/social distancing can be maintained
  • Gatherings at funerals, burials and weddings expanded to 20 people
  • Visitations and wakes prohibited
  • Campgrounds and summer day camps allowed to reopen for day use
  • Medium-risk outdoor recreational activities (eg. team field sports) can resume, with spectators maintaining physical distancing
  • Outdoor pools can operate, within limits
  • Private health care clinics can reopen reopen in accordance with public health guidelines
  • Regional health authorities will allow resumption of some health care services
  • Retail stores and shopping malls can reopen, with restrictions
  • Scratch and break open lottery tickets can be sold in store
  • Personal service establishments (eg. spas, esthetic services, hair salons, body piercing, tattooing and tanning salons) and animal grooming facilities can reopen, with guidelines
  • Further expansion of daycare operations
  • Restaurants (excluding bars and lounges) can reopen at reduced occupancy levels; buffets remain prohibited

Newfoundland & Labrador moved to Alert Level 2 on June 25, 2020.

Alert Level 2

  • Increased individual mobility permitted
  • Gatherings for funerals, burials and weddings are expanded to 50 people with physical distancing maintained
  • Outdoor gatherings of 50 people or less are permitted with physical distancing
  • Places of worship permitted to resume operations, with restrictions
  • Gyms, fitness facilities, arenas, and indoor pools can reopen, with restrictions
  • Overnight camping permitted, with restrictions
  • Playground equipment can be used
  • Regional health authorities will allow resumption of some health care services
  • Bars and lounges can reopen, with reduced occupancy
  • Indoor entertainment facilities (eg. bingo halls, cinemas) can reopen, with reduced occupancy
  • Reopening of performance spaces with reduced occupancy

Alert Level 1

Identified as “the new normal”, consideration of lifting long-term public health restrictions at Alert Level 1 will depend on:

  • Evaluation of transmission patterns of COVID-19;
  • Availability of an effective vaccine and/or treatment; and
  • A strong public health system.


The Yukon is currently in Phase 1 of their plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions (available here). Phase 1 means:

  • Restaurants can provide dine-in services at 50% capacity, and may continue to provide takeout services
  • Personal service businesses can reopen
  • Yukon residents can travel responsibly within the territory
  • Everyone must continue practising the “safe 6
  • Everyone arriving in the Yukon must self-isolate, with limited exceptions
  • Social gatherings of ten people or fewer are permitted
  • Households can combine with one other household to form a 2-household bubble, even if that amounts to more than ten people

Phase 2 is scheduled to commence on July 1, and will include:

  • Lifting travel restrictions between Yukon and BC, for residents only
  • Reopening overnight camps
  • Expanding social gatherings to a maximum of 50 people

A date for commencement of Phase 3 is still to be determined. Phase 3 may include:

  • Gradual lifting of border controls and self-isolation requirements
  • Relaxing of certain restrictions including those related to travel, physical distancing, gathering size, and those placed on businesses, services, recreation and entertainment facilities.

Phase 4 will commence once a vaccine or other alternative public health approaches are available. Phase 4 is currently set to involve removal of all existing restrictions.

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories (the “NWT”) has introduced their reopening plan entitled Emerging Wisely – Path to Eased Public Health Restrictions (available here).

Phase 2 came into effect June 12th. It involves a growth in the level of permissible indoor gatherings to 25 people or less, and outdoor gatherings of 50 people or less. Additional businesses may now open, with some capacity and other restrictions, including:

  • Outdoor tourism operators
  • Movie theatres and theatres
  • Dine-in restaurants,  lounges, and bars
  • Offices
  • Fitness centre classes; and
  • Relaxation of client restrictions on personal service establishment

Phase 1 included:

  • An increase in interpersonal interactions, which involves allowing up to five people into a household that do not live there, to a maximum of ten people. Outdoor get-togethers of 25 people or less are now permitted, with some restrictions (including funerals and weddings);
  • Reopening of some businesses and organizations with strict physical distancing and other safety-related measures in place. Businesses permitted to re-open include personal services establishments, tourism operators, museums, art galleries, bottle depots, gyms and fitness centres (for personal training and outdoor classes), and shuttle buses. Bars, night clubs, theatres, and dine-in at restaurants are not permitted to open;
  • Allowance of limited outdoor mass gatherings, including farmer’s markets, outdoor theatres and plays; and
  • Allowance of organized outdoor activities, including baseball, softball, soccer, beaches, boat launches, golf courses and more, so long as the outdoor gathering limit of 25 or less is adhered to.

The timing for implementation of Phase 3 is yet to be decided. Phase 3 will include the removal on limits for outdoor get-togethers, additional businesses and organizations will be permitted to open, as will facilities such as pools, gymnastics clubs and common-use gyms in buildings.

Phase 4 will involve the final removal of measures, and is dependent upon whether a vaccine or effective treatment is approved and produced.


Nunavut has introduced its reopening plan entitled Nunavut’s Path: Moving forward during COVID-19. Effective June 1, 2020, public health measures were progressively modified starting with those posing the lowest risk. Every two weeks from June 1, the Chief Public Health Officer is deciding which measures can be eased, or if additional restrictions are needed. As of June 29, 2020, the following changes have been implemented:

  • The limit for outdoor gatherings is now 50 people;
  • The limit for indoor gatherings is now 10 people;
  • Youth centres and day camps may resume operations
  • Personal service providers may now open for one-on-one sessions;
  • Bars and restaurants may re-open and operate at half capacity, and with limitations on how late they may serve alcohol;
  • Theatres and churches may re-open;
  • Gyms and pools may re-open for solo workouts and lap swimming only
  • Dental clinics, physiotherapy clinics, massage therapy and chiropractic treatments may resume; and
  • Workplace and retail outlets may re-open.

If you have any questions about this topic, other COVID-19 related questions, or would like assistance with developing and/or reviewing pandemic plans, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer, or refer to the Firm’s COVID-19 website resources.

Print article

More insights


Our complimentary webinars address the practical and legal issues for Canadian employers.

View our Webinars