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 limit on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored private social gathering across the province is:
- 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).
Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together. Gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted.
These limits do not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, 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.
The new amendments to the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act establish:
- a new offence regarding hosting or organizing a gathering in residential premises or other prescribed premises that exceeds limits under an order.
- A minimum fine of $10,000 for organizers of these gatherings.
- Authority for the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe additional types of premises for the purpose of the new offence.
- Authority for a police officer, special constable or First Nations constable to order the temporary closure of a premises where there are reasonable grounds to believe that any gathering exceeding the number of people allowed is taking place and require individuals to leave the premises.
It remains 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;
- 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.