The Ontario government announced on Saturday that, in a continued effort to manage the spread of COVID-19, the lowering of gathering limits that had been originally announced for Toronto, Peel and Ottawa on Thursday, have now been expanded to the entire province, including Hamilton, under provincial orders effective immediately for at least the next 28 days.
“We are taking further action to slow the spread and limit new cases of COVID-19 by reducing the size of private social gatherings across Ontario. This action is based on the increasing case counts that we are seeing,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we continue to closely monitor the spread of this virus, we will never hesitate to take further action to protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians.”
The amended order sets a new limit on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored social gathering or organized public event to:
- 10 people at an indoor event or gathering (previous limit of 50); or
- 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering (previous limit of 100)
Unmonitored and private social gatherings include functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas.
The new limits will not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres or banquet halls, gyms, and recreational sporting or performing art events. Existing rules, including Public Health and workplace safety measures, for these businesses and facilities continue to be in effect.
Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together. Gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted.
It remains critically important for everyone to continue following public health advice. This includes:
- staying home when ill, or keeping your child home from school when ill, even with mild symptoms;
- practising physical distancing with those outside your household or social circle, or at gatherings;
- protecting your social circle;
- wearing a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so;
- washing your hands frequently and thoroughly; and
- adhering to gathering limits and rules.
For additional protection, the Ontario government is encouraging everyone to download the new COVID Alert app on their smart phone from the Apple and Google Play app stores.
Source: Ontario Government