Mass Gatherings

NOTE: Mass gatherings with more than 5 people are now prohibited under Ontario’s State of Emergency declaration.

Based on the best advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately.

This order would not apply to private households with five people or more. It would also not apply to  operating child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders provided the number of persons at each centre does not exceed 50 people. Funerals would be permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time.

Organized public events include parades, events including weddings, social gatherings and communal services within places of worship. This order replaces a previous emergency order which prohibits organized public events of over 50 people.

Mass gatherings can 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.

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, mass gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.

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