What is the “White Zone” in the Covid-19 Response Framework?

There are different public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations depending on what region you are in.

The following is the ‘white zone’ information that most Ontarians need to know. It is not intended to be legal advice or an interpretation of the law.

White Zone = Shutdown

Always stay home if you have symptoms, physically distance by staying two metres apart from people you don’t live with, wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces and avoid non-essential travel.

Gatherings and close contact

It is illegal to gather indoors with anyone you do not live with.

You should only go out for necessities, such as:

  • work, if you can’t do it remotely
  • school
  • groceries
  • pharmacy
  • helping vulnerable people
  • exercise and physical activity

If you live alone, you can have close contact with only one other household.

You must stay at least two metres apart from everyone else and wear a mask or face covering during permitted events or social gatherings.

You should not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary.

All events and social gatherings:

  • Indoors: not allowed, except with members of your household (or one other household if you live alone)
  • Outside: 5 people

Religious, wedding and funeral services:

  • Indoors: 15% capacity of the room
  • Outside: the number of people that can keep two metres physical distance from each other
  • This does not apply to receptions, which have different capacity limits


Rules for all businesses

All open businesses must:

  • screen employees (you may use the covid 19 screening tool)
  • post signs at all entrances informing people how to screen themselves for covid 19before entering (see COVID-19 Signage Questions for Businesses and Organizations)
  • limit capacity so guests can stay at least 2 metres apart
  • make sure anyone indoors wears a mask or face covering, including workers who have to come within 2 metres of anyone else (with some exceptions)
  • make sure workers use personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects their eyes, nose and mouth when they have to come within 2 metres of anyone who is not wearing a mask or face covering or separated by plexiglass
  • clean and disinfect often-touched surfaces, such as equipment, washrooms, locker rooms, change rooms and showers frequently
  • manage line ups to make sure customers are at least two metres apart and wearing face coverings or masks
  • create a safety plan, post it in a place where workers and patrons will see it and have it available upon request

Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments

Services available:

  • Outdoor dining
  • Take-out
  • Drive-through
  • Delivery


  • All indoor and outdoor service


Sports and recreational fitness facilities


  • Sports and recreational fitness facilities (limited exceptions, for example, day camps and child care)
  • Ski hills
  • Golf courses and driving ranges
  • All locker rooms, change rooms, showers and clubhouses


Meeting and event spaces

Closed for meetings and events (limited exceptions, for example child care, mental health and addiction support services).


In-person shopping available

Capacity limits:

  • supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies: 50%
  • all other retail (includes discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, cannabis stores, hardware stores and garden centres): 25%

Curbside pick-up and delivery permitted, including for cannabis stores.

Fitting rooms cannot be right next to each other.

Guests must:

  • wear a mask or face covering (with some exceptions) and keep at least 2 metres apart inside when lining up and gathering outside
  • answer screening questions about covid 19 symptoms and exposure before they come into malls


Personal care services :  Closed

Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments:  Closed

Cinemas:  Closed

Performing arts facilities:  Closed