Guelph updates enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines

Ontario declares second state of emergency, issues stay-at-home order

Guelph, Ont., January 12, 2021 – Earlier today, the province declared its second state of emergency in response to COVID-19. Enhanced public health and workplace safety measures are in effect for all of Ontario and are anticipated to be in place until at least Thursday, February 11, 2021.

The Province also issued a stay-at-home order that takes effect 12:01 a.m. Thursday January 14; people should only leave home for groceries, medical appointments, exercise or essential work, and all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

“Most people are following COVID-19 guidelines, and we thank you, but the virus is still here, and still spreading. Staying home, reducing contact with people we don’t live with is our best defense. Let’s keep COVID-19 out of our hospitals so we have beds, doctors and nurses available to care for people with other illnesses,” says Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie. “Local businesses need our support too, remember to shop local, shop safe.”

The City of Guelph will continue working with local social service agencies to ensure the community’s most vulnerable have access to service and support.

Updated approach to enforcement

The updated emergency order authorizes Guelph Police and Bylaw officers to:

  • Disperse or issue tickets/fines for indoor gatherings involving people who don’t live together
  • Disperse or issue tickets/fines for outdoor gatherings of more than five people who don’t live together
  • Issue tickets/fines to people who refuse to wear a mask or face covering as required.

Failure to comply could result in a $750 fine. Obstructing anyone from performing their duty could result in a $10,000 fine.

Enforcing mandatory masks on Guelph Transit

In addition to regular inspections at large retail stores, the City’s Bylaw officers will further educate Guelph Transit riders about mandatory mask use this week, and actively enforce and issue fines as of Monday, January 18.

“The province is calling for more enforcement and gave us more tools to respond using a fair and reasonable approach. Most people know masks are required on transit, and most people wear them; some have good reasons why they can’t. We’ll use this week to educate riders about possible charges and fines before we start issuing tickets on Monday” says Colleen Clack-Bush, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Guelph’s Public Services.

Parks, playgrounds rinks and trails remain open

The City encourages people to find safe ways to get outside and stay active this winter. Guelph has several winter trails, and portable washrooms are in many parks this winter.

Even outside, people should stay at least two metres away from anyone they don’t live with, and wear masks in places where they may not be able to.

People are asked to avoid crowded areas in parks and trails; try another spot or come back another time. Team sports, practices and games are not permitted during shutdown.

Community outdoor skating rinks

Up to 25 people are allowed on the ice. No reservations needed. Please wear a mask and stay two metres from people you don’t live with. No hockey sticks, pucks, balls or nets on the ice.

Visit for more information.

Market Square skating rink

Open daily 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (weather permitting).

Up to 25 people are allowed on the ice during each 45-minute skating session. Sessions start at the top of every hour. No reservations needed. Wear a mask on the ice, stay at least two metres from anyone you don’t live with, and leave the ice at the end of your session.

Check the live feed and rink status at

Indoor rinks, sports and recreation facilities

All indoor sports and recreation facilities in Guelph must close during the shutdown including City-owned arenas, pools and recreation centres.

People can visit to register for programs scheduled to start in 2021. If classes are cancelled due to low enrolment or COVID-19 restrictions, the City will issue refunds to registered participants.

When the shutdown is over, the City will consult Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health before reopening facilities and restoring City-run recreation programs.

Building permits, inspections and construction

Guelph will conduct building inspections for permitted construction and continue issuing permits to prepare for future construction projects. Visit  for online services and more information.

City Council and committee meetings

Learn when and how to participate in online City Council and committee meetings at

City Hall

Please consider using the mail slot at the front of City Hall or online services at

ServiceGuelph is selling bus fares and large garbage item tickets and accepting payments for invoices, parking tickets, pet licences, and property taxes at City Hall Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Marriage licences are issued by appointment only.  Visit for more information.

The Guelph Farmers’ Market

Food vendors only. Up to 50 shoppers permitted indoors. Visit for a list of vendors and shopping guidelines.

Guelph Provincial Offences Court

You can pay tickets, request a trial or extension at the Guelph Provincial Offences Court from 8:30-3 p.m. Court proceedings will resume after September 11, 2021. Visit for more information.

Guelph Public Library

All Guelph Public Library branches will offer curbside pickup service only. Visit for hours and guidelines.

Guelph Museums, River Run Centre and Sleeman Centre closed

Check out online exhibits and virtual experiences at

Guelph Transit

Riders must wear masks, essential trips only.

The City asks people not to use public transit if they are feeling unwell or have travelled outside Canada within the past 14 days.

Guelph Transit is running on a 30-minute schedule, Monday to Saturday, and regular Sunday service.

Guelph Waste Resource Innovation Centre

Waste collection will continue, the drop-off will remain open. Please wear a mask. Visit for hours and guidelines.

If anyone in a home is self-isolating due to COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive for COVID-19, or is isolating due to travel outside Canada, they should put all recyclables and garbage in bags in their grey cart, and keep using the green cart as usual.

Shopping during shutdown

Support local. Shop safe. #guelphshops

The City encourages everyone to shop where they live; order online, use curbside pickup or delivery services. For a directory of local shops visit Share photos and stories using #guelphshops.

Shopping during shutdown

All stores open for in-person shopping must have hand sanitizer at every entrance, limit the number of customers inside, have measures in place to keep people at least two metres apart, and employees and shoppers should be wearing masks.

Supermarkets, grocery and convenience stores primarily selling food, pharmacies are permitted to be open with indoor shopping limited to 50% of capacity

Restaurants and bars can offer take out, drive through, and delivery services.

The following stores must close at 8 p.m.

  • Other retailers selling groceries, discount stores, big box stores, beer, wine and liquor stores are open with indoor shopping limited to 25% of capacity
  • Malls can be open for pick-up or delivery and access to essential businesses or services like groceries, pharmacies, healthcare offices etc.
  • Garden centres, plant nurseries can offer curbside pickup or delivery only
  • Hardware and safety supply stores are open by appointment only, curbside pickup or delivery
  • Motor and recreational vehicle are open by appointment only

All personal care services, sports and recreation facilities must be closed during shutdown.

No indoor gatherings at home during shutdown

Do not visit any other household or allow visitors in your home. If you live alone, consider having close contact with only one other household.

Up to five people can gather outdoors if there is room for people who don’t live together to stay two metres apart.

Report a COVID-19 concern

To report a concern about gatherings or business not following COVID-19 guidelines


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Media Contact

Stacey Hare
Corporate Communications and Customer Service
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2611
[email protected]