Provincewide shutdown starts Saturday for four weeks

The following information was distributed by Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) at 3:20 p.m. on April 1, 2021:

Today, April 1, the Ontario Government announced the implementation of a provincewide shutdown, effective Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., for at least four weeks.

“Although Easter is a time to celebrate with family and friends, it will not be possible this year. Travel restrictions and minimal groupings are essential to avoid disastrous results from what is usually a social weekend. We want to thank all residents, business operators and others in advance, for your support in keeping our communities safe,” states Dr. Robert Cushman, Acting Medical Officer of Health, RCDHU.

The current COVID-19 response framework will be paused when the provincewide shutdown comes into effect. This means that regional colour zones are not in effect currently. The impacts of these new measures will be evaluated over the next four weeks to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended. The provincewide shutdown measures include, but are not limited to:

All events and social gatherings

  • Indoors: not allowed, except with members of your household (or one other household if you live alone). It is illegal to gather indoors with anyone you do not live with.
  • Outdoors: 5 people.

In person shopping limits

  • Supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies: 50 percent capacity.
  • All other retail (includes discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, cannabis stores, hardware stores and garden centres): 25 percent capacity.
  • Curbside pick-up and delivery permitted, including for cannabis stores.

Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments

  • Open: take-out, drive-through, and delivery.
  • Closed: all indoor and outdoor service.

Religious, wedding and funeral services

  • Indoors: 15 percent 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.

Sports and recreational fitness facilities

such as sports and recreational fitness, ski hills, golf courses and driving ranges, locker rooms, change rooms, showers and clubhouses) are closed.

Personal care services, bingo halls, casinos, gaming establishments, cinemas, and performing arts facilities are closed.

For more information on celebrating a COVID-19 safe Easter, visit RCDHU’s resources: Easter Safety COVID-19 Guidance and Safer Easter Holiday Activities to Plan vs. Riskier Easter Holiday Activities to Plan.

The rise in cases and arrival of Variants of Concern (VOCs) in RCD are a stark reminder of the importance in adhering to public health guidelines – celebrating with only members of your immediate household, staying home from work, school or daycare if sick, practicing physical distancing (2 metres), wearing a mask/face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained, washing your hands, avoiding contact with people who are ill, using the COVID Alert App, and completing the COVID-19 self-assessment tool or COVID-19 school and child care self-assessment tool daily if you go to work, school or daycare, to monitor for symptoms and proper guidance.

For more information, visit RCDHU’s website at or call 613-732-3629 or 1-800-267-1097.

Renfrew County & District Health Unit(2021,Apr.1) Ontario Government Introduces Provincewide Shutdown Ahead of Easter Weekend [media release]


  1. The Current

    In reply to Don Lomas: Thank you for your comment; you are correct. RCDHU has issued an amendment to the above article stating “At the time that the Provincewide Emergency Brake Shutdown fact sheet was developed, the province stated on their website that golf courses and ski hills were to be closed. However, subject to conditions, golf courses and ski hills have since been allowed to remain open. RCDHU’s fact sheet has been updated to reflect this change.” The updated Fact Sheet from RCDHU now states that sports and recreational facilities are closed (with limited exceptions).”

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