Lockdown vs. red zone: What will change for Windsor-Essex on Tuesday

·3 min read
The shift to the red zone will mean that indoor dining and shopping can resume but with capacity restrictions and other public health measures in place.
The shift to the red zone will mean that indoor dining and shopping can resume but with capacity restrictions and other public health measures in place.

(Jaison Empson/CBC - image credit)

Windsorites haven't been allowed to get a haircut or eat at a restaurant for two months, but that will change next week when the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted.

The province announced that as of Tuesday, the region will be downgraded from a full lockdown to the red "control" zone, the second-highest level of restrictions.

The stay-at-home order will be lifted as well.

The move to the red zone brings significant changes to what is permitted, including a limited reopening of many types of establishments.

At the same time, local health officials have stressed that public health measures, such as avoiding contact with people outside your household, need to be followed if cases are to stay on a downward trend.

Here's a look at a few of the key changes that will take effect. A full breakdown of the red zone rules is available here.


During lockdown, it's illegal to have visitors in your home, with some exceptions. The red zone restrictions still recommend limiting close contact to household members only.

Gatherings, however, can be as big as five people indoors and 25 outside. For weddings, religious services and funerals, the capacity limit is 30 per cent (100 people for outside).

Under lockdown, events in that category were capped at 10 people whether they were indoors or outdoors.

In both the lockdown and red zone, people who live alone can have contact with one other household.

Restaurants and bars

Jennifer La Grassa/CBC
Jennifer La Grassa/CBC

The lockdown put a pause on all indoor and outdoor dining in Windsor-Essex, as only delivery and pickup were allowed.

In the red zone, dining can resume but at reduced capacity with 10 people total indoors and a maximum of four per table. Restaurants must close by 10 p.m.

Bars are allowed to open but alcohol can't be served after 9 p.m. Buffets, dancing, singing and live musical performances aren't allowed. Strip clubs can only operate as a restaurant or bar.

Shopping and services

The provincial government has made recent changes to the rules on what types of businesses can keep their doors open while under lockdown.

Regardless of whether Windsor-Essex was brought into the red zone or stayed in lockdown, non-essential businesses that were previously prevented from opening are now allowed to do so, but with reduced capacity.

The shift to the red "control" zone means higher capacity limits will be in effect. Grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies can open at 75 per cent capacity. All other retailers can open at 50 per cent.

There are a few types of personal care business not allowed to open under the red zone rules, including steam rooms and saunas, but salons and barbers are not on that list.

But any service that requires someone to remove their face covering is not allowed.

Gyms and sports

The new rules mean that gyms can reopen but at reduced capacity. Ten people can be in indoor classes or areas with weights or exercise equipment at a time. Outdoor classes have a cap of 25.

Team sports are allowed for practice only and social distancing and masking must be maintained.

Other spaces

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

For those looking to catch a movie in theatres, that's still not allowed under the red zone rules, with some exceptions.

Drive-in services are permitted to operate. Performing halls remain closed to spectators.

Bingo halls and casinos are allowed to reopen under the capacity limits of 10 indoors or 25 outdoors. The same capacity limits apply to meeting and event spaces.