Ontario Opening Up Outdoor Visits for Long-Term Care

Published on May 27, 2021

The government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators.


In response to improving key public health care indicators, the government has also made changes to Directive #3, the visitor policy and guidance document to permit outdoor visits at long-term care homes:

  • Maximum of two general visitors at a time per resident in addition to essential caregiver(s).
  • General visitors need to be actively screened upon arrival and should not proceed beyond entry points / areas in homes.
  • General visitors do not need to undergo a rapid antigen test as their visit will be outdoors.
  • General visitors need to maintain physical distancing and wear masks and every effort should be made to ensure different groups of visitors are also physically distanced.
  • Recognizing that not all homes have suitable outdoor space, these visits may also take place in the general vicinity of the home, such as nearby parks and parkettes.
  • Children under the age of two years do not count towards the general visitor maximum.


Effective May 22, family and friends began seeing their loved ones at long-term care homes to provide non-essential services, or for social reasons.


This is a welcome change that will improve the quality of life for residents and support their well-being, while allowing for social distancing and mask wearing.


While we are currently trending in the right direction, this government will continue to actively monitor COVID-19 activity and take a measured and cautious approach to ensure the health and safety of staff, residents and their families.


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