This Version Posted: June 26, 2020

Fact Sheet:  Physical Distancing – Public Health Ontario

You are strongly urged to practise physical distancing as much as possible anytime you’re outdoors or in the community. This is essential to slow the spread of COVID-19. This means limiting the number of people with whom you come in contact.

NOTE: 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.

Tips for Physical Distancing:
  • Keep a minimum two-metre (six-foot) distance between yourself and others. That’s roughly the length of a hockey stick.
  • Limit trips from home if possible. If you are going out, practise physical distancing every step of the way!
  • With more businesses and services reopening, take extra care when frequenting them to keep your distance from others. In places where physical distancing is difficult, consider wearing a non-medical mask/face covering.
  • Get outside to exercise and be active, but do not do so in a group. Be sure to maintain a physical distance of at last 2 metres (6-feet) from others. Stay close to home if possible. As more parks and outdoor recreational amenities reopen, ensure you keep your distance in these places as well.
  • Avoid others by keeping a safe distance. Greet people with a wave, bow or nod, instead of handshake or hug. After being outside, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Limit, postpone or cancel small gatherings. If you can, connect with family and friends by phone or online.
  • Work from home if possible. Talk to your supervisor, manager, or employer about options. Cancel in-person business meetings. Instead, look at teleconferencing or video chat options.
  • Keep children at home as much as possible. Do not send children to daycare and avoid any ‘child play dates’ with other families until further notice.
  • If you are sick, avoid visits to care facilities like long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, and hospices. Stay home and use Ontario’s online COVID-19 Screening Tool to see what additional care you may need.
  • As of June 18, the Ontario government is allowing family visits to resume at long-term care homes, retirement homes and other residential settings. Long-term care homes will allow outdoor visits of one person per resident each week at a minimum. Strict health and safety guidelines will be in place to protect the health of residents, staff and visitors, so be sure to follow them — including physical distancing rules. Contact the care home for specifics on how to arrange a visit.
  • For essential trips (like getting groceries), sanitize/wash your hands when entering or exiting building. Avoid long lineups. Use tap to pay instead of handling money.
  • If you have to go out for an essential trip via taxi or rideshare, be sure to keep the windows down.
  • Do NOT use public transit if you are sick. Self-isolate at home right away.
  • If you must use public transit, wash hands often, keep a two-metre distance between other passengers and aim to travel in non-peak hours.
  • Avoid large gatherings of people to reduce the spread of illness. As of June 12, the Ontario government is increasing the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people.

Remember: While you may not feel sick, and while these measures may seem inconvenient, they are important to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to those who are more vulnerable, including seniors and people with compromised immune systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

What activities CAN I do outside? 

Additional Resources:

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