Group of people walking down a hallway

Updated March 30, 2020 at 9:30 am

Note: Under its State of Emergency, Ontario is prohibiting public events or gatherings of more than five people. The only exceptions are families with more than five people and child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders (so long as each centre does not exceed 50 people). Funerals are permitted, but only with up to 10 people at a time).

Given the current COVID-19 situation and new ban, do NOT organize any large gathering/event until further notice.

General Tips for Event Planning After COVID-19

In future, when organizing or attending a large gathering/event like a concert, festival, worship service or cultural/sporting event, you need to make an informed decision. Many people in close contact in one location for a long time can lead to the spread of respiratory illnesses. Other factors also come into play, such as venue cleanliness, crowd size, health and age of attendees, and number of high-touch areas (like doors, elevators).

Organizers
  • Each event is different, so assess the type, size, scope and need for it. Consider the number of people who may attend too.
  • If you still plan to hold an event, assess the risk and take steps to reduce the spread of illness. Consider things like:
    • Reducing the number of participants or changing the venue to prevent crowding
    • Thinking about who will attend. If they are older or have weak immune systems/pre-existing health conditions, they may be at higher risk of getting sick from illnesses like COVID-19
    • Staggering arrivals and departures
    • Providing packaged refreshments instead of a buffet
    • Increasing access to handwashing stations
    • Promoting personal protective practices (hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, staying home if ill)
    • Offering virtual or live-streamed activities
    • Changing the event program to reduce high risk activities such as those that require physical contact between participants.
  • These resources offer further guidance to assess risks and take steps to reduce spread of illness at events:

NOTE: If you are a church/place of worship, you may also want to review the sharing of items during special religious sacraments/rites. Check with your diocese, parish or national denomination for more specifics.

Attendees
  • Do not attend a large gathering/event if you are a health care worker, police, firefighter or paramedic, or someone who would have difficulty being in home isolation for 14 days
  • Avoid events/gatherings if you are sick. Stay home, except to get medical care
  • Use precautions if attending a large event. Wash hands frequently with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand sanitizer). Cover cough/sneeze. Keep a two-metre distance from others