Registrar’s Directive: Capacity limits removed; Physical distancing, mask-wearing requirements remain

Effective July 16, 2021

The BAO is issuing this Registrar’s Directive in alignment with the Government of Ontario’s Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopen announcement today.

Indoor and outdoor funeral services, including visitations, will start operating under these requirements on Friday, July 16.

No additional measures have been added in this Registrar’s Directive.

Indoor funeral services

  • Indoor funeral services are permitted with physical distancing of two metres (six feet) between people.
  • No capacity limit, except for the physical distancing requirement. 
  • Masks or face coverings are required indoors.
  • Passive screening continues: There must be passive screening of guests, meaning have COVID signage at the entrance for guests to self-assess. (Here’s a link to the BAO’s screening sign, found on our COVID-19 web section.)
  • Guests must still be logged to enable contact tracing. Records must be kept for 30 days.
  • All attendees and staff must adhere to local public health unit restrictions.

Outdoor funerals / Services at cemeteries

  • No capacity limit, except for the physical distancing requirement.
  • Cemeteries can restrict access as they deem necessary, as usual. 
  • All attendees and staff must adhere to local public health unit restrictions.

Staffing ratios

  • There will no longer be a set staffing ratio.
  • Funeral establishments and cemeteries are responsible for ensuring physical distancing and the wearing of masks or face coverings indoors.

Food and beverages

  • Permissible food and beverage services are determined by your local public health unit.

Exception – Waterloo

(A few days after the Registrar’s Directive was issued, Waterloo Region announced that it was entering Step 3.)
Waterloo Region moved into Step 2 of Ontario’s reopening framework on Monday. Check with the local public health unit about the status for Waterloo going forward.
Waterloo will operate under the Registrar’s Directive relevant to Step 2 until its regional public health unit moves the jurisdiction into another step of the provincial framework.

Thank you

Remember, licensees are responsible for ensuring current restrictions are followed. Thank you for your ongoing professional, tremendous work throughout this continuing pandemic period.

-Carey Smith, CEO/Registrar