Effective Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is enhancing the province-wide Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely.

The COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open, is paused while the Stay at Home Order is in effect.

Emergency regulations have been put in place both provincially and municipally to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes regulations for physical distancing, new restrictive gathering limits, and limited access at public places. 

Face masks and coverings

Regional Council passed bylaws that require mask wearing on transit and in enclosed public places as of July 13. The bylaws remain in effect up to May 31, 2021, barring any repeals or further extensions by Regional Council.

These bylaws make it mandatory for residents to wear face coverings in enclosed public places such as trains and buses, shopping malls and retail shops and more. As of September 28, enclosed places include taxis, ride shares and common areas of apartments and condos, where physical distancing can be a challenge.

Visit the Region of Waterloo's website for the most up-to-date information on these bylaws

 Frequently Asked Questions
Who is required to wear a face covering under this bylaw?
Any customer, patron, employee or visitor, who enters an enclosed public place must wear a mask except for those who are exempt.
Who is NOT required to wear a face covering?
The bylaws exempt:
  • Children under the age of five.
  • Those who are unable to wear a face covering as a result of a medical condition or a disability. Some disabilities are invisible so we ask people to respect that. The bylaw does not require people to provide proof to support an exemption.
  • A person engaged in a sport or other strenuous physical activity.
  • A person who is assisting or accommodating someone who has a hearing loss or a hearing disability.
  • A person who is consuming food/drink as part of a religious activity within a place of worship.
Does the bylaw require business owners to turn away people who are not wearing masks?
No. There is no requirement under the bylaw for businesses to refuse entry to those not wearing face coverings. Businesses may choose to have their own policies that require masks.
Can businesses require proof of exemption?
No. The bylaw does not require people to provide proof to support an exemption.
Where am I required to wear a face covering?
Face coverings are required in the following locations:
  • Buses, bus shelters, ION trains and ION platforms
  • Stores and shopping malls
  • Indoor areas of restaurants and bars, with the exception of patrons consuming food/drink
  • Professional services such as counselling, personal care, funeral homes, repair and rental services
  • Lobby areas of commercial buildings
  • Hotels and motels, with the exception of rented rooms
  • Laundromats
  • Indoor areas of fitness centres, gyms and recreational and sports facilities
  • Indoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas
  • Arcades and other indoor amusement facilities
  • Museums, galleries, historic sites, etc.
  • Places of worship
  • Municipal buildings

For more detail on exceptions, please consult the actual bylaws. 

Where are face coverings NOT required?
The bylaws do not cover:
  • Federal or provincial buildings
  • Colleges, universities or schools
  • Hospitals or health facilities
  • Offices of regulated health professionals
  • Employee-only areas of businesses and other buildings
  • Outdoor areas in streets, parks, sports facilities and patios
  • Child care facilities and day camps
  • Care facilities for the elderly and people with disabilities
Are masks required at public pools?
No. Masks are not required to be worn on the pool deck and cannot be worn when you are swimming. Masks can pose a safety risk if covering your mouth and nose while wet. 
How can establishments notify customers, patrons, employees or visitors about the bylaw?
Business owners/operators are responsible for posting clearly visible bylaw signage at all entrances. Decals and posters can be picked up at local city halls and township administrative offices or from local Chambers of Commerce.

Businesses can also print their own signs and bylaw reminder cards to give to patrons.

Who is providing the face coverings?
Residents must supply their own face covering. Some business owners/operators will supply masks but they are not required to do so.
Will the face covering bylaw be enforced?
Bylaw Enforcement continues to take an education-first approach, asking people to comply with the bylaw and educating them on the importance of protecting each other. We are appealing to residents’ goodwill and willingness to cooperate for the greater good.
Do I still need to stay at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from people if wearing a face covering?
This is ideal and should be practiced. Wearing a face covering is an important measure, especially when physical distancing is not possible. Continue to practice other health measures such as washing your hands frequently.
Do I have to show proof that I am exempt from the bylaw?
No proof is required to show you are exempt from wearing a face covering. The expectation is that individuals who self-identify as exempt should be allowed into an enclosed public place.
How do I report someone for not wearing a face covering?

It’s important to keep in mind that Regional bylaw enforcement will not be able to respond to all calls and will be focusing on education and compliance rather than enforcement. Business owners/operators can contact Region of Waterloo Bylaw Enforcement if non-compliance is significant and ongoing and additional educational resources and support are needed. Please complete a bylaw feedback form or call the Region of Waterloo Contact Centre at 519-575-4400. 

Residents wishing to report non-compliance can also fill out the bylaw feedback form, call the Region of Waterloo at 519-575-4400 or the City of Cambridge bylaw line at 519-623-134- x7907.

Guidelines for parks, trails and facilities

Masks are required where users cannot maintain physical distancing of 2m or greater. 

No outdoor gathering is permitted.

Facilities and Centers

Visit our Recreation safety page for more information on closures of facilities during COVID-19. 

Parks and Amenities

In alignment with the Emergency Order all parks and trails are still open for exercise such as passive walking, running, or cycling.

Otherwise, all other park amenities are as per below.


Disc Golf
The disc golf course is closed.
Maple Grove Dog Park
The Dog Park is open.
Picnic Shelters

All picnic shelters are closed.


All city playgrounds are open.

Skateboard Parks

Skateboard Parks are closed.

Tennis/Pickleball/Basketball Courts

Outdoor sport courts courts are closed.


Natural trails are open for recreational use. Please note that washrooms are not available. Please use them with caution! Physical distancing of 2 m is required at all times (except for members of the same household). 

 General Rules

  • Maintain physical distancing (at least 2 m, except for members of the same household)
  • No outdoor gathering is permitted
  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times
  • Leave if the park or trail area gets too crowded
  • Only use parks or trails that you can walk to 
  • Walk your Block
  • Get your exercise locally in your neighbourhood
  • It is recommended that users bring their own personal hand sanitizer for their use  

What's allowed

  • Walking, jogging, hiking and cycling
  • Exercise activities with members of your own household
  • Individual activities permitted only where you may maintain a physical distance of at least 2 m from others. 
  • Walk the trails, park pathways while maintaining physical distance
What not to do 
  • Engage in any outdoor gathering (be sure to maintain physical distancing with people outside of your own household).
  • Use any ATV, or operate any motorized vehicle on any parkland or trail


Measures under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act during COVID-19 are enforced by multiple areas. 

See the chart below for who to contact with questions or concerns.

Who to contact 

Contact for:

How to contact
Region of Waterloo
  • Business-related concerns or questions; mask non-compliance
(519) 575-4400
City of Cambridge
  • Report events & gatherings of more than 5 people outdoors or more than immediate household members indoors.

(519) 623-1340, ext. 7907


Province of Ontario
  • Report price gouging

Report online

Related news releases

April 2 - Update on City services and programs during the province-wide emergency brake

April 2 - Recreation in Waterloo Region under provincewide shutdown

April 1 - Waterloo Region under Province-wide shutdown

February 12 - City of Cambridge updates city specific changes under Red-Control zone

February 12 - Waterloo Region transitions to Red-Control category; some municipal facilities and recreation programs to re-open under phased approach

Dec 21 - City to Enter Provincewide Shutdown 

November 25 - Red-Control category changes for recreation in Waterloo Region

November 20 - Region of Waterloo moved to Red-Control level

October 28 - Safe recreation guidelines in Waterloo Region: Check before you Rec!

October 2 - Light shows return to Old Post Office; community reminded to enjoy safely

September 22 - Program registration on pause to help slow the spread of COVID-19

September 3 - Indoor recreation facilities, programs and rental bookings re-opening throughout September

July 16 - City playgrounds set to open Friday, July 17 as Cambridge enters Stage 3

July 3 - Splashpads at Forbes, Riverside and Churchill Parks in Cambridge to open by Saturday, July 4

July 2 - Two City of Cambridge pools to open July 4; registration for lessons opens July 7 at noon

June 30 - Room/facility rental suspension extended until September 7, 2020

June 15 - City Hall opens today; marks another step forward in recovery process 

June 11 - City to gradually reopen community amenities; City Hall to open June 15

June 4 - Cambridge Farmers’ Market set to re-open to shoppers June 27

May 27 - Region and area municipalities making plans to reopen administrative buildings

May 20 - City of Cambridge to reopen some outdoor recreational amenities 

May 14 - Area municipalities relax rules at parks and open spaces

May 4 - Community gardens permitted to open in Cambridge and across the Region

May 1 - Residents advised to keep safety top of mind this Victoria Day

April 17 - Essential construction and maintenance during the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 1 - Area municipalities extend closure of facilities, cancellation of programs and events

March 25 - Region of Waterloo and local municipalities declare States of Emergency