COVID-19: Ready…together

BAO COVID-19 Info Index

  1. FAQ – Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Safety Posters
  3. COVID-19 Updates: Directives, Notices, Guidance…
  4. All Registrar’s Directives – including COVID-19
  5. All Notices to the Profession – including COVID-19
  6. Government links
  7. Webcasts to licensees
  8. News – From government and news media
  9. BAO Media Contact:
  10. Ontario Ministry of Health COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces



Jan. 7 – Registrar’s Directive: Crematoriums must prevent backlogs
Jan. 6 – Notice to the Profession: Registrar authorizes colleges to make students available to work
Jan. 4 – Registrar’s Directive: New temporary rules for funeral services


Oct. 26 – Registrar’s Directive: Option for BAO licensees – COVID-19 distancing and capacity limits are not required if all patrons provide proof of vaccination
Sept. 16 – Notice to the Profession: Proof of Vaccination Requirement for Funerals
July 9 – Registrar’s Directive: Capacity limits removed; Physical distancing, mask-wearing requirements remain
June 29 – Reminder: New COVID-19 indoor and outdoor funeral restrictions
June 24 – Registrar’s Directive: New COVID-19 indoor and outdoor funeral restrictions
June 8 – Registrar’s Directive: Funeral services attendance
May 17 – Notice reminder: Cemetery attendance is restricted to 10-max for funeral services only
May 13 – Notice to the Profession: Registrar’s Max-10 Directive still in effect
May 3 – Notice to the Profession & Public:
Cemetery restrictions now and on Mother’s Day

April 16 – Registrar’s Directive: 10 max at funerals in total – indoors or outdoors
April 1 – Registrar’s Directive: Funeral attendance restricted to
15% indoors to a max of 50 people indoors or outdoors
Mar. 16 – Registrar’s Directive: BAO chart revised – some limits adjusted
Mar. 14 – Registrar’s Directive: BAO Grey-Lockdown restrictions revised
Mar. 1 – Government of Ontario Vaccine Rollout letter to the BAO – PDF
Feb. 26 – Notice to the Profession: Reminder of BAO chart;
Thunder Bay & Simcoe-Muskoka moved into Grey-Lockdown

Feb. 9 – Registrar’s Directive: COVID chart returns; adjustments to MEDR
Jan. 19 – BAO supports hospitals in transfer of deceased patients
Jan. 12 – Registrar’s Directive: Modified Expedited Death Response Plan
Jan. 6 – Notice/News Release – Bereavement sector well within capacity in caring for those who have died during pandemic

Archive of Updates 2020


BAO links
Government links


News – Bereavement sector
re. COVID-19

Oct. 25 – Government of Ontario – Ontario Releases Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term
…In response to continued improvements to key indicators, including ongoing stability in the province’s hospitals, effective October 25, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario will lift capacity limits, including physical distancing requirements, in the vast majority of settings where proof of vaccination are required…

Sept. 14 – Government of Ontario –
Ontario Releasing Guidance to Support Proof of Vaccination Policy
…Today the government released the regulations and guidance for businesses and organizations to support them in implementing proof of vaccination requirements, which take effect on September 22, 2021.

July 9 – Government of Ontario –
Ontario Moving to Step Three of Roadmap to Reopen on July 16
…Step Three of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place. This includes, but is not limited to:…Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted with physical distancing;…

June 7 – Government of Ontario – Ontario to Move to
Step One of Roadmap to Reopen on June 11
Improvements in Key Indicators Allowing Province to Begin the Safe and Gradual Lifting of Public Health Measures

May 20 – Government of Ontario – Ontario Releases
Three-Step Roadmap to Safely Reopen the Province
The Ontario 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 and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators. In response to recent improvements to these indicators, Ontario will allow more outdoor recreational amenities to reopen, with restrictions in place, effective May 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m…Based on current trends in key health indicators, including the provincial vaccination rate, the government expects to enter Step One of the Roadmap the week of June 14, 2021. The province will confirm closer to the expected start of Step One.

April 16 – Government of Ontario – Strengthens Enforcement of Stay-at-Home Order
…In addition, effective Monday, April 19, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is limiting the capacity of weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 10 people indoors or outdoors. Social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions are prohibited, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone. Drive-in services will be permitted.

April 7 – Government of Ontario – Enacts Provincial Emergency
and Stay-at-Home Order
The Ontario government…is immediately declaring a third provincial emergency…These measures are being taken in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, the threat on the province’s hospital system capacity, and the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants…Effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a province-wide Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes,

April 2 – Standard-Freeholder – Bereavement authority revokes licences for Cornwall funeral director
The Bereavement Authority of Ontario has revoked the licences of funeral director Bonnie Parker, Parker Funeral Home Ltd. in Morrisburg, and at McArthur Bros. & MacNeil Funeral Home and Chapel in Cornwall. David Brazeau, the BAO communications manager…said the BAO “suspends and revokes licences to protect grieving families — this occurs several times a year across the province, when needed.’’ But, it’s a fairly rare occurrence considering there are thousands of individual licensees and business licences across Ontario.

April 1 – Government of Ontario – Provincewide Emergency Brake:
All 34 Public Health Unit Regions to Move into Shutdown

…”We are facing a serious situation and drastic measures are required to contain the rapid spread of the virus, especially the new variants of concern,” said Premier Ford…Ontario’s key indicators and latest modelling show that additional measures must be taken. From March 26 to 28, 2021, provincial case rates have increased by 7.7 per cent to 101.1 cases per 100,000 people…COVID-19 related ICU admissions are projected to exceed 650 beds in a few weeks. These increases are being driven by COVID-19 variants, which are transmitted easily and result in a higher risk of death and hospitalization, including in younger populations.

Feb. 26 – Government of Ontario – Thunder Bay and Simcoe-Muskoka moved into Grey-Lockdown
Nine Public Health Regions Moving to New Levels in the COVID-19 Response Framework

Jan. 21 – Postmedia – Death response plan from BAO addresses rising COVID-19 toll
The Modified Expedited Death Response (MEDR) Plan was issued last week and is effective immediately, and applies to all regions of the province, with the exception of some communities and areas in northern and western Ontario. Part of the plan, in a Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) news release, has funeral/transfer staff required to attend at hospitals and long-term care (LTC) facilities within six hours of being advised the decedent is ready for release.

Jan. 7, 2021 – Standard-Freeholder – Ontario bereavement authority: sector not at risk of over-capacity
The bereavement sector’s ability to professionally care for those who have died during the pandemic remains strong and is not at risk of exceeding capacity in Ontario.


Dec. 21 – Government of Ontario – Provincewide Shutdown – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Provincewide Shutdown starting Dec. 26.

Nov. 27 – Government of Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework – Here is the province’s colour code of restrictions, which change with the state of the pandemic in public health unit zones.

Nov. 13 – CBC – Marketplace tested over 20 different masks. Here’s what will best protect you and others during the pandemic
Wearing a mask is critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19, but rigorous tests conducted on behalf of CBC’s Marketplace found that while some work very well, others offer little protection from the particles that transmit the novel coronavirus…Top Performers – 3-layer masks… More

Nov. 4 – The Standard – 2020 a hard year for Niagara funeral homes, grieving families 
…Recently, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario, an arm of the provincial government that regulates the funeral industry, waived licence renewal fees for a year. “The BAO’s licensees have shown leadership in continuing to provide uninterrupted professional, safe and caring services to families across the province during COVID-19 pandemic measures,” said the agency’s chief executive officer Carey Smith…It was welcome recognition for what his industry has gone through, says George Darte (funeral home operator in St. Catharines). “I know most people don’t understand our world … but we do know what we do, and we have had a number of our families thank us as well,” he says…He has talked with funeral home operators in the U.S., which has 11 times the population of Canada, but 23 times more COVID deaths.  More

Nov. 3 – TVO – Ontario unveils new colour-coded COVID-19 control system
The province is abandoning its “Stage 2/Stage 3” framework and adopting a colour-coded one that it hopes will allow for faster and more targeted responses. Read the full plan here.

More news at the COVID-19 News Archive