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The New "Normal"

It has been over 4 months now since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic. After weeks and weeks of lockdown and quarantine measures being implemented across the world, cities are finally seeing eases in these restrictions, and the return to a new “normal” filled with lots of masks, hand washing and physical distancing.

Similarly, areas across Canada had been re-opening their economy in different ways, depending on the severity of the virus in different regions, according to phases outlined by each of their respective governments. Here is how provinces and territories are beginning to open amid the pandemic:

British Columbia

British Columbia is currently undergoing phase three of the four-phase BC's Restart Plan. In this phase, the following sites are opening up:

  • Parks, beaches, campgrounds and outdoor tourism

  • Faith-based institutions with a limit of 50 attendants

  • Hotels, motels, resorts and other accommodations

  • Long-term care facilities, allowing visitation from one designated family member

  • Motion picture and television production

  • Art performance centers


Alberta is currently undergoing stage two of the three-stage Alberta's Relaunch Process. In this stage, the following places will open up:

  • K-12 schools

  • Libraries

  • Personal and wellness services

  • Movie theatres and instrumental concerts

  • Community halls

  • Team sports

  • Provincial campgrounds (at full capacity)

  • Pools


Saskatchewan is currently undergoing phase four of the five-phase Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan. In this phase, the following areas will open back up:

  • Child and youth camps

  • Outdoor pools and spray parks

  • Libraries

  • Museums and galleries

  • Movie and live theatres

  • Recreational facilities

  • Community halls

  • Race tracks and rodeo-related activities

  • Car and trade shows


Manitoba is currently undergoing the last phase of its three-phase Restoring Safe Services strategy. In this phase, the following places will open:

  • Child care services and day camps

  • Outdoor amusement parks

  • Recreation facilities

  • Film production

  • Retail businesses (with occupation limitations removed)

  • Therapeutic or health care businesses


Ontario is currently undergoing phase two of its three-phase COVID-19 Response Framework. In this phase, the following places will open up:

  • Outdoor spaces

  • Shopping malls

  • Personal services

  • Recreation facilities

  • Film and television production

  • Drive-in venues

  • Outdoor dining services


Quebec is currently undergoing its Gradual Resumption of Activities plan. At this moment in the plan, the following places are opening:

  • Tourism businesses

  • Outdoor recreational facilities

  • Cultural establishments (excluding festivals and major events)

  • Children’s day and summer camps

  • Residential and long-term care homes

  • Educational childcare services

  • Healthcare services

New Brunswick

New Brunswick is currently undergoing level yellow of the four-level NB's Recovery Plan. In this level, the following places will open up:

  • Non-regulated health businesses

  • Water recreation facilities

  • Overnight camps

  • Community halls

  • Gyms, yoga and dance studios

  • Amusement centers and arcades

  • Trade shows and conferences

  • Personal service businesses

  • Pool halls and bowling alleys

  • Religious services

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is currently undergoing the Reopening Nova Scotia plan. At this moment in the plan, the following places will open back up:

  • Dine-in restaurants and bars

  • Personal services

  • Healthcare and dental care services

  • Campgrounds

  • Children’s playgrounds

  • Childcare and daycare centers

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is currently undergoing phase four of its four-phase Renew PEI Together plan. In this phase, the following places will open up:

  • Sport and recreational activities

  • Campgrounds

  • Personal services

  • Childcare centers

  • Non-urgent healthcare services

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is currently undergoing alert level two of a five-step Alert Level System plan. In this level, the following places will open up:

  • Places of worship

  • Gym and fitness facilities

  • Arenas and pools

  • Healthcare services

  • Bars and lounges

  • Indoor entertainment facilities


Nunavut is currently undergoing its Nunavut Path plan. At this moment in the plan, the following places will open up:

  • Workplaces

  • Retail outlets

  • Places of worship

  • Conference centers

  • Community halls

  • Gyms and pools

  • Healthcare and dental care facilities

  • Children’s daycares and camps

  • Parks

  • Playgrounds

  • Galleries, Museums and Libraries


Yukon is currently undergoing phase two of its four-phase plan. In this phase, the following places will open up:

  • Dine-in restaurants

  • Personal care services

  • Playgrounds

  • Recreational centres

  • Libraries

  • Children’s daycares and camps

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories is currently undergoing phase two of its four-phase Emerging Wisely plan. In this phase, the following places will open up:

  • Outdoor tourism businesses

  • Movie theatres

  • Dine-in restaurants and lounges

  • Fitness centers

  • Personal services

  • Outdoor public events

  • Campgrounds

  • Pools

  • Community centers

Each region is taking its time and precautions when reopening, in order to minimize any further spread of the virus or a second wave. Furthermore, in many regions across the country, face masks have become mandatory in indoor settings. And in all places, physical distancing rules and measures are being firmly held in place.

It’s important to stay home as much as possible, as to avoid unnecessary contact with other people. And if you do decide to leave your home, make sure to take as many precautions as possible. This might be wearing a face mask and gloves, avoiding contact, and safely distancing yourself. Also, keep an eye out for a special series from us at R2AC, where we document how establishments across the country are opening up in the face of the pandemic.

No one is able to predict what the next six or twelve months are going to look like, but in order to achieve the best scenario possible considering the current circumstances, it’s important to all do our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Article Contributors: Asima Hudani, Valerie Shirobokov


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Featured image courtesy of National Post

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