COVID-19 – Latest Information for Businesses

It can be hard to keep track of the rapidly changing COVID-19 information & restrictions for businesses – find the details you’re looking for below.


Effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a province-wide Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely. The Ontario government has also declared a third State of Emergency. The COVID-19 Response Framework (colour-coded zones) is paused during this time.

Important additional restrictions of the Stay-at- Home order include:

  • Limiting the majority of non-essential retailers to only operate for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., with delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm, and other restrictions;
  • Access to shopping malls is limited to curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, with one single designated location inside the shopping mall, and any number of designated locations outside the shopping mall, along with other restrictions;
  • Restricting discount and big box stores in-person retail sales to grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, health care items, and personal care items only;
  • Permitting the following stores to operate for in-person retail by appointment only and subject to a 25 per cent capacity limit and restricting allowable hours of operation to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. with the delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.:
    -Safety supply stores;
    -Businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, aids or supplies, mobility devices, aids or supplies or medical devices, aids or supplies;
    -Rental and leasing services including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental;
    -Optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public;
    -Businesses that sell motor vehicles, boats and other watercraft
    -Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services
    -Retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or service, which may only permit members of the public to enter the premises to purchase a cellphone or for repairs or technical support.
  • Find full details on travel restrictions and more about the strengthened Stay-at-Home order here.


For information on requirements from the City of Hamilton click here. For the City’s general COVID-19 page click here. Still have questions as a business owner? The City’s dedicated Public Health number for the business community only is 905-974-9848 option 4.


The Province also requires that every business has a COVID-19 Workplace Safety
Plan. For details & to download the template click here. Guidance from the City of Hamilton on creating a COVID Safety Plan can be found here. The City’s COVID-19 Screening Guide can be found here.


Businesses can contact the Province’s Stop The Spread Helpline for questions on the lockdown or support programs at 1-888-444-3659, open 7 days a week.


Additional Information & Resources for Businesses

All grants and financial support available for businesses can be viewed here.


The Hamilton COVID Concierge for Business is a one-stop online resource centre and phone line dedicated to supporting Hamilton businesses with their COVID-19 business questions and concerns. Hamilton businesses can call the COVID Concierge at 905-521-3989 (Mon-Fri, 8:30am-4:30pm) or contact them online. Learn more at

The Hamilton COVID Concierge for Business is brought to you by the Hamilton COVID Concierge Team, comprised of the City of Hamilton and the three local Chambers of Commerce.


For general COVID-19 information from the Federal Government including case numbers, travel restrictions, symptoms, and more click here.

For information from the Federal Government on transitioning from CERB to new benefits please click here. To find information on all Government programs available in response to COVID-19 for individuals AND businesses, including the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) click here.


For all resources available from the Province to help small businesses in Ontario click here.


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