COVID-19 Update

Ottawa Tourism’s top priority is the health and safety of our community and our visitors. As we welcome travellers back to our region, please consult our Visiting Ottawa safely page for the latest COVID-19 information. When making plans, please confirm details with businesses and entities directly as parts of our website may not reflect current offerings.

Shaw Centre

Information for meeting planners and business travellers during COVID-19

Last updated on September 3, 2021

Our team is here for you. We stand by our hotel community and our members to support them during these challenging times. We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and share sources of information regarding our destination with our clients and partners. Let us know how we can help

Ontario, including Ottawa, is now in Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen which means many businesses are open, though some restrictions still apply. 

Please visit our Visiting Ottawa safely during Covid-19 page to view the latest basic guidelines that apply to leisure and business visitors.

Currently, proof of vaccination and identification is required to visit some businesses in Québec (residents can download the VaxiCode app while visitors can show proof of vaccination and identification).

As of September 22, 2021, proof of vaccination and identification will also be required to visit some businesses in Ontario, with an app to be introduced by October 22, 2021. Businesses where proof of vaccination is required include most bars and restaurants, festivals, meetings, events, and other public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn.

The information below is specific to the meetings and conventions industry, and information is changing regularly.

Learn more about the local situation on the Ottawa Public Health website.

Gathering limits and regulations

Outdoor organized public events and social gatherings are limited to 100 people and must comply with public health advice on physical distancing.

Indoor social gatherings and organized public events for up to 25 people.

Indoor and outdoor dining is permitted.

Outdoor meeting and event spaces are open at 75% capacity or 5,000 people (whichever is less) and other restrictions.

Indoor meeting and event spaces are open at 50% capacity or 1,000 people (whichever is less) and other restrictions.

Learn more on the Guidance for professional meeting and event facilities during Covid-19.

Travel information

Domestic and international travel

There are currently no travel or self-isolation restrictions for domestic travelers (from within Canada) entering the province of Ontario, including the city of Ottawa.  

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals will be allowed to enter Canada for discretionary travel on the following dates if they meet specific criteria:

  • August 9: American citizens and permanent residents of the United States, currently residing in and arriving from the United States, and who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption
  • September 7 (intended start date): All other foreign nationals who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption

Check exact requirements (see infographic) before crossing the border. Entrance into Canada requires the use of the ArriveCAN mobile app. It is also recommended that visitors (and Canadian residents) download the COVID Alert app.

Visit the Canada Border Services Agency website for the latest information. 

Review Public Health Agency of Canada’s pdf document Entering Canada by LAND and AIR during COVID-19.

For the latest information on flying in and out of Ottawa, visit the Ottawa International Airport (YOW) website.

Via Rail is gradually returning to service and is looking forward to welcoming travellers back on trains from coast to coast. Visit the Via Rail website for the latest information on train travel.

Local transportation

OC TranspoOttawa’s public transportation service which includes buses and light rail, is operating.

Ride-sharing and taxi drivers, as well as their passengers, must wear masks; no passengers are allowed in the front seat of the vehicles.

Hotel and meeting venues

The Shaw Centre — Ottawa’s largest convention centre — has reopened for small meetings and is currently working with clients directly to determine next steps. More on The Shaw Centre health and safety guidelines.

The Hotel Association of Canada has partnered with the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) in the launch of Safe Stay, an initiative focused on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols, while ensuring transparency throughout the guest journey. The Safe Stay health and safety guidelines represent best practices for the hotel industry, in accordance with the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Centres for Disease Control guidelines.

Most Ottawa hotels are open. All convention hotels in Ottawa have put in place safety protocols to make their guests safe. You can find more information on the links provided for each hotel below:

Stay up to date

Stay up to date on upcoming events and ideas to plan your next trip to Ottawa with friends, family or on your own by signing up for the Ottawa Tourism Newsletter.