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Ottawa's Reopening Plan

City of Ottawa reopening plan

Our safety, our services, our people

Since the arrival of COVID-19 in March, residents have done an incredible job of following public health guidelines.

Because of you, Ottawa has flattened the curve and slowed the spread of the virus. This means the City of Ottawa can cautiously reopen and resume some programs and services.

Safety in our services is our top priority.

Ottawa’s reopening plan is based on guidance from Ottawa Public Health and aligns with the Province of Ontario’s plan to gradually relax its emergency orders. To avoid a second wave of COVID-19, the City may put in place additional public health measures or adjust the reopening plan to reduce the spread of the virus.

Residents will have to continue to follow public health guidelines:

  • Stay at home when sick
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wear cloth masks when physical distancing is not possible
  • Practice good hand hygiene and avoid touching your face.

Reopening safely

To safeguard public health, the City will focus on:

  • Facility retrofits to facilitate physical distancing and safe workplace conditions for City employees
  • Staffing and service delivery changes to limit crowd sizes, and promote online services for residents
  • Providing City employees with appropriate personal protective and preventative measures
  • Health screening of employees and the public
  • Frequent and thorough cleaning all City facilities
  • Communicating updates to employees and residents as the situation evolves
  • Requiring residents to wear masks while on City property and when using public transit

Phased reopening

As health and safety measures may be adjusted at any point, timelines may be subject to change.

View the City of Ottawa's reopening plan handout.

The Province of Ontario recently announced additional services permitted to reopen on June 12, with proper health and safety measures in place, as part of Phase 2 of their Reopening Framework. City services currently under review in response to the recent Provincial announcement that require time to reopen include:

  • Museums 
  • Art galleries
  • Community centers for non-recreation services

Other impacted services and facilities

Services that have re-opened or have been operating during the pandemic may still be impacted.

Garbage and recycling

The Garbage and Recycling section has the most up to date information regarding:

City parks, trails and natural areas

The parks and green spaces section has the most up to date information regarding:

Property tax payments

The taxes section has the most up to date information including:

Water bill payments

The water utility bills section has the most up to date information regarding:

Client service centres

The 3-1-1 section has the most up to date information on client service centres.

You can access services through 3-1-1 online including:

If you are unable to access City services online, please call 3-1-1 so we can assist you.

Parking, roads and travel

Visit the parking, roads and travel section for the most up to date information.

Visit the National Capital Commission’s webpage for impacts on their parkways.

Water quality

Ottawa’s tap water is safe. The drinking water section has the most up to date information, including the status of water quality testing and other in-home services.


Community gardens

The community gardens section has the most up to date information on re-opening, rules, and regulations.

Ottawa Public Library

Visit the Ottawa Public Library website for the most up to date information on:

  • Curbside Returns and Holds Pickup Service
  • Branches
  • Bookmobile stops and Homebound delivery services

Long term care

Information about City-run long-term care homes and updates from provincial and municipal partners.

Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development

Visit Planning, development and construction for the most up to date information.

Condominium pools

Communal pools in private settings (such as a condominium) need to be inspected by Ottawa Public Health before the pool can re-open.

Garage Sales

Garage sales are permitted now in Ottawa, however, buyers and sellers are still required to limit groups to no more than 10 and to wear masks when physical distancing is not possible.

Please note community garage sales remain prohibited at this time as they are considered special events.


The primary focus for Ottawa Police Services and By-law and Regulatory Services is awareness and education.

While gatherings over 10 people are legally prohibited, it is imperative that we all follow recommendations for physical distancing and avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you. For more information, please visit Ottawa Public Health.

Physical distancing is a recommendation from public health agencies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is not Federal or Provincial law and is not something that can be enforced by Police or By-Law.

By-Law Services

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the primary focus for By-law and Regulatory Services is awareness and education.

However, By-law officers can issue fines to individuals who fail to comply to the new physical-distancing rules under the Ontario Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

If you are feeling unwell in any way, please stay home.

The Province of Ontario has permitted Ottawa to move to the stage two of the provincial reopening framework, which included the following allowances

  • Personal-care services businesses, such as barbers and hairdressers, to open for services – with restrictions
  • Patio for bar and restaurant establishments
  • Opening of indoor malls

These openings and operations must follow Provincial operating guidelines to ensure compliance with current provincial measures that support physical distancing and help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Ottawa Police

Ottawa Police Services will enforce the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. Individuals who exhibit symptoms will be issued a red card by Canada Border Services Agency.

Individuals who work to ensure the continued flow of goods and services, and those who provide essential services are exempt from the order.

Residents can call 613-236-1222 ext. 7502.

Physical distancing

Even though Ottawa is now permitted to undertake stage two of the Province’s reopening plan, Ottawa Public Health is recommending all residents to remain vigilante and mindful in practicing physical distancing. This will help to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

We simply recommend that when you are in malls, stores, beaches and parks that you make sure to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres from those around you who are not part of your immediate household. In situations where maintaining physical distancing may be difficult, it is recommended to wear a cloth mask.

Please note: You must wear cloth masks when using OC Transpo transit starting June 15.

While you may not feel sick, and while we know these measures are an inconvenience, please be mindful of the members of our community who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. We are all in this together.

Gatherings now limited to 10

The Ontario government has changed the emergency order to allow gatherings of no more than 10 people, with the exception of private households with 10 people or more.

5 ways to practice physical (social) distancing

  1. keep a distance of 2 meters when going out
  2. avoid large gatherings
  3. work from home if possible
  4. avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives
  5. conduct meetings or visits virtually

Physical (social) distancing includes, but is not limited to:

  • talking to your supervisor, manager, or employer about the possibility of working from home where possible
  • avoiding visits to long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, hospices and other congregating unless the visit is absolutely essential
  • keeping the windows down if you have to go into the community for an essential trip via taxi or rideshare
  • limiting or cancelling group gatherings
  • holding virtual meetings
  • spending time outside and in settings where people can maintain a 2 metre distance from each other


Unless you are ill, or are under self-isolation under the Quarantine Act, you can still go outside, such as for a walk. While outside, avoid crowds and do your best to maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you. Make an effort to step aside, or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks. Passing someone on the sidewalk is not considered close contact or a significant risk for exposure to COVID-19.