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Ontario Announces Lower Limits on Social Gatherings Across Province

2020-09-19

The Ontario government has announced it is lowering the limits on unmonitored and private social gatherings across the province, including the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). The move comes after the province imposed lower limits in the Ottawa, Peel and Toronto regions on September 18th.

Effective immediately, the new limits on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored private social gathering across the province are:

  • 10 people at an indoor event or gathering (previous limit was 50); or
  • 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering (previous limit was 100).

The lowered limits apply to all unmonitored and private social gatherings such as functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs and wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas.

As was the case with the previous limits, indoor and outdoor gatherings cannot be combined. Gatherings of 35 people in total (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are also not permitted.

“I support the province’s decision to lower the limits on social gatherings,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “The number of COVID-19 cases across our area and the province has been rising steadily over the past few weeks, and it’s mostly due to a minority of people breaking the rules during private social gatherings.”

Limits will not apply to events held in monitored areas

The new limits will not apply to events or gatherings held in locations monitored by staff, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, recreational sporting or performing art events. The existing rules for these settings continue to be in effect.

Public health measures still vital

As we enter fall, the EOHU reminds residents to continue taking the following public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when ill, and keep your children home from school when they are ill
  • Practice physical distancing with those outside your social circle
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is a challenge (and where mandatory)
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Download the COVID Alert app on your phone from the Apple and Google Play app stores

For more information about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19, check out the EOHU’s website at www.EOHU.ca/coronavirus.

Eastern Ontatio Health Unit / Bureau de santé de l'Ontario