Group of people walking down a hallway

This Version Posted: June 15, 2020

Take care if gathering in large groups, as COVID-19 can be spread due to close contact with other people.

Currently, social gatherings of up to 10 people outside your household are now allowed in Ontario. It’s important to maintain physical distancing in these situations.

‘Social Circles’: Ontario is now encouraging people to create a social circle during COVID-19. A family or social circle allows up to 10 people to interact closely with each other, without the need for physical distancing. These circles would be the only exception when people should not stay 2 metres (6 feet) apart.

‘Weddings/Funerals’More people are now allowed to attend wedding or funeral services. For indoor ceremonies, the number of people allowed to attend a funeral or wedding can now be a maximum of 30 per cent capacity of the ceremony venue. Wedding and funeral ceremonies taking place outdoors will be limited to 50 attendees. For both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, those attending must follow proper health and safety advice. The number of people allowed to attend receptions afterwards remains at a maximum of 10 people.

General Tips for Event Planning During COVID-19

PLEASE NOTE: Large gatherings and many public events are still not allowed in Ontario.

If 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 are allowed to open again. But you are only allowed to do so with strict physical distancing rules in place. Attendance at services is also limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshipers.

Attendees
  • Avoid events/gatherings if you are sick. Stay home, except to get medical care. Use Ontario’s online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to see what further care is needed.
  • 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 (6-foot) distance from others.