Gatherings have the potential for serious public health consequences if they are not planned and managed carefully. They can increase the spread of infectious diseases and cause additional strain on the health care system when held during outbreaks. Gatherings include parades, weddings, funerals, and social gatherings.

Starting Friday June 12, 2020, the Ontario government, under its State of Emergency, is permitting gatherings of no more than 10 people, regardless of where they are occuring. People throughout Ontario are also being encouraged to establish a family or social circle of no more than 10 people who can interact and come into close contact with one another without physical distancing.

  • This applies to all settings, including homes, indoors or outdoors, public or private.
  • If gathering (to a total maximum of 10, including household members, social circle members and other visitors), visiting outdoors is preferred to visiting indoors.
  • Regardless of location, physical distancing measures must be respected by keeping at least two metres away from those outside of their direct household or family or social circle.
  • Please note that the use face coverings or face masks (non-medical masks such as cloth masks) is required in public areas of an indoor/enclosed space. Please see the Mandatory Mask Directive for Enclosed Public Spaces for more information.

The Government of Canada has created a guidance document with recommendations regarding mass gatherings, to reduce the spread of COVID-19: Risk-informed decision making for mass gatherings during COVID-19 global outbreak. Please note, in Ontario, gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited.

Places of Worship

  • All places of worship in Ontario can open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.

Weddings and Funerals

  • For wedding and funeral ceremonies, attendance is limited to a maximum of:
    • 30 per cent capacity of the ceremony venue for indoor wedding and funeral ceremonies
    • 50 people for outdoor wedding or funeral ceremonies. 
  • For indoor or outdoor wedding and funeral receptions, the maximum number of people allowed to attend remains at 10 people.

For both indoor and outdoor wedding and funeral ceremonies and receptions, people in attendance must continue to follow proper health and safety advice, including practising physical distancing from people who are not from the same household or their established 10-person family or social circle.

Family or Social Circle

You can now establish a family or social circle of no more than 10 people who can interact with one another without physical distancing. Everyone living in the same household is in a social circle.  People in the same social circle:

  • Do not have to physically distance
  • Can hug and touch each other
  • Should continue to follow public health advice, including frequently washing their hands and taking everyday actions to help stop the spread of COVID-19

To learn more, read the How To Build Your Social Circle guideline. 

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