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Novel coronavirus: COVID-19 

COVID-19 continues to present a threat to the health and safety of our community. We all have a part to play in slowing the spread. Please follow the advice of Public Health, Provincial recommendations and regulations.

Proof of vaccine requirements

With some exceptions you are required to provide proof of vaccination to enter all City facilities starting Sept. 22, 2021. These requirements are in line with Provincial vaccine mandates, and are being introduced with a focus on protecting community health and safety.

Vaccinated individuals are at less of a risk of developing complications from COVID-19 and in turn are less likely to burden health-care resources. While COVID-19 remains a threat in our community vaccine requirements as dictated by the Province of Ontario are in effect to protect unvaccinated individuals, including those unable to receive the vaccine, and prevent over taxing the hospital system.

Essential City Hall services will continue to be delivered to all residents, including those who have not yet received the vaccine. In circumstances where in-person appointments cannot be accommodated we will offer service delivery in alternative methods.

What is proof of vaccine?

To enter City facilities you are required to submit at entry:

  • An electronic or paper copy of your COVID-19 vaccination receipt indicating you are fully vaccinated (second dose), an individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the administration of their second dose
  • Government identification (photo or non photo) matching the name and date of birth included on the vaccine receipt
Where can I get a vaccine receipt?

If you are fully vaccinated you can download / print proof of vaccination at

What City facilities does this apply to?

In an effort to provide a consistent response to COVID-19 with a priority on public health and safety all City facilities will require proof of vaccination to enter, with some exceptions listed below. City facilities include:

  • Arenas
  • Pools
  • Community centres
  • Older adult centres
  • Administrative buildings including City Hall and Victoria Lawn Cemetery offices
  • Morningstar Mill
  • St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre
  • Lakeside Park Carousel

The following City facilities do not require proof of vaccine to enter:

  • St. Catharines Farmers Market

There are some exceptions to proof of vaccine requirements, as dictated by the Province of Ontario.

Exemptions include:

  • Children under 12 years of age
  • Individuals under 18 years of age entering facilities to participate in organized sports
  • People under 18 years of age entering to participate in sports and fitness activities such as public skating and swimming lessons
  • People who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons who can provide written documentation of medical exemption on entry
  • Coaches, volunteers and officials entering to facilitate an organized sport (please note some sporting organizations have their own vaccine policies for these individuals)
  • People entering the facility for short-term purposes such as using a washroom, making a financial transaction, or delivery/receipt of goods
More information

Please refer to the Province of Ontario for more information on proof of vaccine requirements.


Currently closed City facilities include:

  • St. Catharines City Hall, open by appointment only
  • Lake Street Service Centre 
  • Buchanan House
  • All of the City's fire stations
  • St. Catharines Enterprise Centre

While city facilities are closed to the public, residents can still access City services by contacting Citizens First at or on 905.688.5600, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Alternative options for those needing to make a payment can be found at

Service Disruptions and Cancellations

As a result of facility closures, and efforts to limit in-person interactions and slow the spread of COVID-19, City services, programs and activities have been suspended until further notice. Despite these interruptions the City continues to ensure essential services are provided to residents.

City Hall

City Hall is currently open by appointment only.

For more information, please visit our Citizens First page.

Mandatory Masks By-law

On July 13, 2020, St. Catharines City Council passed By-Law No. 2020-97, requiring that all visitors and staff in enclosed public spaces to wear a face mask or covering at all times.

By-law came into effect on July 17, 2020. For more information please visit our Masks By-law page.

Please note: the Niagara Region has also passed a mandatory mask by-law that applies to the entirety of Niagara, with further stipulations and exemptions including the requirement that children five and older wear a face covering. Visit the Region's mask by-law page for more information.

Emergency Orders Enforcement

Currently under provincial orders certain non-essential businesses are required to remain closed while others must operate under certain safety protocols. 

Residents who are concerned with individuals or groups violating Provincial emergency orders can report them:

  • During business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday: via our online form for investigation, via phone at 905.688.5600 or via email at
  • Outside of business hours: via the Niagara Region's dispatch line at 905.984.3690 or 1.877.552.5579 

Do not call 911.


State of Emergency

On Jan. 12, 2021, the Province of Ontario, declared a State of Emergency.

What is a declaration of emergency?

Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act the Premier, or their designate, has the authority to declare an emergency in response to a situation, or impending situation, that presents a major danger that could result in serious harm to residents or substantial damage to property.

Why did the Province declare an emergency?

The declaration underscores the continued importance of efforts to flatten the transmission curve, reminding residents that even as faith-based holidays approach and the weather improves they must continue to do their part by following the advice of public health officials, and orders put in place by the Province, to:

  • Self isolate and stay home whenever possible
  • Maintain physical separation of two metres
  • Limit contact to their own household
  • Wash their hands regularly
  • Routinely disinfect surfaces
  • Observe mandatory closures of non-essential businesses and outdoor recreational amenities
  • Follow mandatory 14-day quarantines when returning from travel outside of the province

Declaring an emergency allows us to not only draw attention to how important public cooperation is and how serious the COVID-19 situation could become, but also allows the City to act more quickly in its decision making in response to the virus.

Are we more at risk now that an emergency has been declared?

No, the declaration does not mean the risk is greater, it does however recognize with the beginning of community spread and the efforts on behalf of the City, residents and businesses to reduce the spread are more important than ever. This potential for increased spread in the community meets the criteria of potential immediate risk to declare an emergency.

Does this impact how the City will deliver services?

At this time the City facilities are closed to the public. However we will continue to offer essential services to residents. Currently there is no impact on these core services. The declaration means, should things rapidly escalate or change, the City will be able to move swiftly to ensure services such as water and transportation are not interrupted.

See our Contact page for more information.

What does this mean to me?

It means residents must continue to do their part in limiting the spread of the virus, following the suggestions of public health, and orders from the Province of Ontario. Those found violating Provincial orders could face fines.


When City Hall is closed to the public, residents have several payment options for property tax, water bills and parking tickets that can be done from the comfort and safety of their own home.

Water and tax payments can be made via online banking through a resident’s financial provider. Cheques can also be mailed to the City. Details on these methods of payment are available at

All payments can also be made via cheque at the City Hall drop box, located at the James Street entrance. Do not deposit cash via the drop box.

The City also offers pre-authorized payment for water / wastewater and property taxes. Preauthorized debit agreements are available online at

Taxpayers can use the City’s online e-bill portal to access water and tax information. A link to the portal, and information on how to register, is available at

Residents who have purchased or sold a property can use our online form to ensure their information is up to date and to notify the City of a new water account or account closure.


COVID-19 Property Tax Payment Plan

Council has approved the creation of a Special Pre-authorized Property Taxes COVID-19 Payment Plan for 2021 which would allow all tax payers whose taxes were paid in full by Feb. 28, 2020 —  and who have since experienced severe financial hardship due to the pandemic — to pay their outstanding 2020 and 2021 property taxes penalty and interest free over a 12 month period.

Applications must be received by Jan. 29, 2021.

For more information visit the 2021 Pre-authorized Property Taxes COVID-19 Payment Plan Page.

Business Licences

New Business Licences will still be processed if accompanied with a cheque via the James Street drop box at City Hall, and issued once the facility reopens. 

Business Licence renewals can be processed if submitted via the James Street drop box with a cheque, and issued once City Hall reopens.

 Further information

Knowledge of COVID-19, including ways to limit transmission, is important for all residents as the City works to limit the spread of the virus. 

 What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

The new (novel) coronavirus is a new virus in this family which we have not previously seen.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever / chills
  • Cough
  • Runny nose or stuff / congestion, not related to allergies
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Decrease or loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fatigue, extreme tiredness or muscle aches

How can you limit the spread

There are simple measures every resident can take to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community, including:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water
  • Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer if hand washing is not possible
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Social distancing: stay home and only leave for food and other essentials, preferably only once per week
  • Covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with a tissue or arms and sleeves 
  • Avoid touching of the face, eyes, mouth and eyes
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Staying home if sick
  • Avoid all non-essential international travel, as recommended by Provincial and Federal health authorities 
  • Avoiding sharing of personal items
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is difficult or not an option


Getting a vaccine when available is critical in stemming the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Vaccine delivery  in Niagara is being overseen by Niagara Region Public Health.

For information on vaccine delivery, eligibility, booking and more please visit Public Health's vaccine page.

Self isolation

Individuals are to self-isolate if they fall under one of the following:

  • Start to develop symptoms (see specific guidance for children and adults)
  • Are living with a household member that has symptoms and is being sent for COVID-19 testing
  • Are a close contact of a positive case with COVID-19
  • Are a laboratory confirmed case with COVID-19
  • Are required to do so under the Quarantine Act due to travel outside of Canada

How to self isolate:

  • Stay at home and indoors. Don't go to school, work or any public areas.
  • Find alternate accommodations away from anyone else if possible
  • If getting alternate accommodations isn't possible, stay in a separate room
    • Have a caregiver bring meals and supplies to the room and drop off outside the door
    • Have a bathroom in your home dedicated to only you. If a bathroom needs to be shared, clean after every use.
    • Don't share utensils, toothbrushes, tablets, gaming devices, headsets, towels, etc.
    • If you must leave your room, wear a medical mask if you have one, otherwise wear a face covering
    • Keep a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from other household members
    • Rooms in the home should be well ventilated, such as keeping windows open, if possible and if weather permits and can be tolerated
  • No visitors
  • You may go outside in your own backyard or balcony. Make sure to clean doorknobs after each use.
  • Don't use public transportation, rideshare companies or taxis
  • Cancel non-urgent appointments
  • If you must go out for a medical appointment or urgent care, you must contact the COVID-19 Info-Line at 905-688-8248 press 7, then press 2 and a public health professional will give you detailed instructions to follow to protect you, your family and members of the public
  • Make alternate arrangements to support children and other dependents, if possible
  • Ask a friend or family member to help you get a supply of groceries and other necessities. Don't go out and get them yourself.

Individuals in self-isolation who need to go out for any reason, call the Public Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Info Line at 905-688-8248 ext. 7019 or 1-888-505-6074, and a nurse will provide you with detailed instructions to follow.

Travel and COVID-19

If you have traveled outside of Canada and returned on March 13 or after, you are required to self isolate for a 14-day period. See the the information above, and additional resources below for more information on self isolation.

Call ahead to allow health care staff to take appropriate precautions.

 Additional Resources and Information

Please visit the following links for further information related to COVID-19, including testing, case tracking and affected areas:



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