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What the legal text of the Ontario home stay warrant says




A woman at home looks out of her window.  (Stock photo)

The Ontario government has issued the legal text of the home stay order, which went into effect on 12; 01 Thursday (January 14).

The regulation, made under the Law on Emergency Management and Civil Protection, provides further details on when you can leave your home for essential purposes.

However, the regulation does not use the term “essential purposes”; rather, it sets out the purposes for which you are allowed to leave your home.

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This may seem obvious, but the regulation does not apply to people who are homeless. It also does not apply to the exterior of your home (such as your backyard) or to common outdoor or indoor areas (including lobbies) of communal housing. And that doesn’t stop you from returning to your home when you left it for a permitted purpose.

Here is a summary of when you can leave your home according to the regulations. The current full legal text of the regulation is given at the end of this story.

Work, school and childcare

You are allowed to leave your home to go to work or to volunteer when you are unable to do so from home.

You can also leave home to go to school (including post-secondary institutions), to receive or provide childcare, or to receive or provide training or educational services.

Receipt of goods and services

You are allowed to leave your home to get food, drink, personal care items or health care services and medicines.

You can also leave home to pick up goods and services or to carry out activities related to the maintenance and cleaning of your home, business, vehicles or “other places”.

You can leave your home for pickup, when you have an appointment with a business or a place that is allowed to remain open, or when you need to get services from a financial institution or a check collection service.

You are also allowed to leave home to receive government services, social services and support, and mental health support and addiction support services.

Helping others

You are allowed to leave your home if you need to deliver goods or provide care or support to a person who needs it.

This includes providing care for someone in a congregation care setting (for example, if you are an essential caregiver) and accompanying someone who needs help making an essential journey (for example, if you need to take your parent to elderly in the grocery store)

It also includes taking a child to their parent or guardian or their home, or taking a family member to a place where they are allowed to go for essential purposes (for example, driving your child to a date medical).

You are allowed to leave your home whenever necessary to respond to or avoid an imminent health and safety hazard. This includes protecting yourself or others from domestic violence, leaving or helping someone else leave unsafe living conditions, or seeking urgent help.

You are also allowed to leave your home to exercise, including walking or moving outside using a mobility aid or using an outdoor recreational comfort that is allowed to be open. The regulation does not mention other forms of exercise (such as running, cycling, or walking) but does not exclude them either. Dog walking is allowed in a later part.

You can leave your home if you have to attend a place as required by law or for a purpose related to the administration of justice. You can also leave your home to exercise a recognized Aboriginal right or treaty.

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Multiple residences and moves

You are allowed to leave your home to travel to another residence if you are going there for one of the purposes permitted by the regulations, but only if you are staying in the other apartment for less than one day.

You can also travel to another residence if you are going to stay there for at least two weeks. For example, if you are leaving home to visit your villa for purposes other than maintenance, you will need to stay there for two weeks.

You can travel between your home and those of your parents, guardians or guardians if the person is under your care.

You can also leave your home if you are making arrangements to buy or sell a home, or if you are making arrangements to start or end a tenancy. Finally, you can move out of your home if you are moving flats.


Although the government is recommending against trips outside the province, you can leave your home if you are going to an airport, bus stop or train station for the purpose of traveling to a destination outside the province.

The regulation does not say you are allowed to leave your home to go to an airport, bus station or train station if you are traveling within the province.


You are allowed to leave your home to attend a wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony allowed, or to make the necessary arrangements for one.

If you live alone, you are also allowed to leave your home to meet with members of another household.

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You are allowed to leave your home to receive goods and services for the health and safety of an animal (including veterinary services), to receive food or supplies for animals, or to walk or exercise an animal.

You are allowed to leave your home whenever necessary to respond to or avoid imminent health and safety risk to an animal, including protecting an animal from abuse.

PDF: Ontario Regulation – Residence warrant
Ontario Regulation – Residence warrant
This PDF is also available for download from the Ontario government website.

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