Waterloo Region, February 12, 2021 – As the province-wide shutdown is lifted, the Waterloo Region will move into the Red-Control zone on February 16, 2021, as part of a cautious and gradual return to the Ontario colour- coded response framework.

The municipalities of Waterloo Region continue to work together with Public Health to review the provincial regulations and update changes accordingly for municipal services, operations and programs.

A number of municipal facilities will re-open under the Red-Control category, however, these facilities will operate under various restrictions, including controlled access, health screenings and capacity limits. Before attending any facility please check ahead to identify what protocols may be in place.

Administrative buildings

Please continue to conduct as much municipal-related business as possible online or by phone. Counter service at City, Township and Regional administrative buildings will resume on February 22, with the exception of the Township of North Dumfries which will open on February 16. Council and committee meetings will remain virtual.


City-run libraries and Regionally-run libraries in the townships will re-open with occupancy limits and additional safety measures. Kitchener Public Library is expected to expand in-person services beginning Thursday, Feb. 18. Curbside pickup will continue to be an option at all locations. Waterloo libraries will open on February 19. The Idea Exchange locations in Cambridge and the Region of Waterloo libraries are anticipated to re-open on February 22.

Outdoor Rinks

The number of people permitted on outdoor rinks will be increased to 25, starting on February 16. However, hockey or ice shinny is not permitted and physical distancing must be maintained.

Recreation and community centres

Recreation facilities, including arenas and pools, and community centres will start to re-open over the next several weeks.

Each municipality has different timing and phased reopening plans for the safe re-introduction of in-person recreation programs. It is important to “Check before you Rec” with your local municipality.

In addition to mandatory physical distancing and face coverings rules, the following regulations will be in place across all recreation facilities in the region.

  • Mandatory active screening, contact information and attendance for all guests.
  • Indoor capacity of 10 participants per room/space (must comply with physical distancing requirements).
  • Outdoor capacity of 25 people per space, provided proper physical distancing can be maintained.
  • Drop-in recreation programs (pre-registration is required) have a maximum capacity of 10 people.
  • Recreation swims will be modified to meet public health and provincial safety regulations.
  • Arenas may open for ice sports but are limited to 10 participants, no game play. No adult ice user groups.
  • For all team sports (indoor and outdoor), scrimmages and games are not permitted.
  • No contact permitted for team or individual sports.
  • Provided physical distancing can be maintained, employees, coaches, trainers will be limited to the number of individuals registered to the association team and/or as identified in their provincial association return- to -play protocols.
  • No spectators permitted. One guardian is permitted for those under 18 years of age.
  • No live performances. Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event is permitted.
  • Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or other impermeable barrier.
  • Patrons may only be in the facility for 90 minutes except if engaging in a sport.
  • Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible; measures to prevent shouting by both instructors and members of the public.

These requirements are subject to change based on further direction from the province and to support unique challenges within each municipality. For more detailed information on recreation programs, including virtual, registered, and drop-in please check with your local municipality.

Funeral Services

Funeral gatherings in municipal cemeteries will be increased from a maximum of 10 people to a maximum of 25 people (including clergy, but not including funeral or cemetery staff), with restrictions and mandatory public health measures in place, including wearing masks and distancing.

The municipalities of Waterloo Region will continue our standardized approach in following the provincial regulations as we transition though different categories under the five colour zones within the COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open. The province considers several factors, including weekly case rate per population, re-infection rate, and ICU capacity.

As more services, businesses, and activities throughout Waterloo Region are able to re-open under the framework, there is risk of increased cases of COVID-19 in the community, including cases of new variants. Residents are reminded to continue to stay at home as much as possible, limit close contacts, wear a non-medical mask or face covering, and avoid social gatherings.


For more information on updated programs and services specific to each municipality, visit:



Media contacts:

Susanne Hiller, City of Cambridge, hillers@cambridge.ca

Bethany Rowland, City of Kitchener, bethany.rowland@kitchener.ca 

Cari Howard, City of Waterloo, cari.howard@waterloo.ca

Michelle Poissant, Township of North Dumfries, mpoissant@northdumfries.ca

Grace Kosch, Township of Wellesley, gkosch@wellesley.ca

Kelly Baird, Township of Wilmot, kelly.baird@wilmot.ca

Rae Ann Bauman, Township of Woolwich, rbauman@woolwich.ca 

TJ Flynn Region of Waterloo TFlynn@regionofwaterloo.ca