Celebrations during COVID-19

Please note: Advice regarding celebrations is subject to change, as the pandemic changes within our community. Please check back for updates.

Celebrations are going to look and feel different during the pandemic.  The safest way to celebrate is by only celebrating in person with the people you live with and celebrating virtually with everyone else. 

  • Indoor or outdoor social gatherings are not permitted in Hamilton, except with members of the same household
  • Everybody must wear a mask or face covering that covers their mouth, nose and chin when they attend  a gathering (indoor or outdoor) and they are within two metres of another individual who is not part of their household.

Individuals who live alone, including seniors, may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation

To protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities, we must be mindful of the role we all play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is highly transmissible in social settings. One infected person could cause many people attending the same gathering to become ill. We urge you to be diligent and follow public health guidance. Learn more about your personal risk level.

Consider hosting a celebration this year; set up a phone, tablet or laptop around the dinner table to connect with those who you don’t live with. Hamilton Public Health Services does not recommend hosting an in-person gathering unless you live alone and are getting together with one other household. If those are your circumstances, below are tips to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19:

  • Do not get together with others if you are feeling unwell or have any COVID-19 symptoms, are waiting for COVID-19 test results or have been exposed to an individual with COVID-19.
  • Gatherings or events are safer outdoors than indoors. Physical distancing must still be maintained outdoors.
  • Wear a face covering/mask when not eating/drinkingindoors or if you can’t keep physical distance outdoors.
  • Open windows to increase ventilation if safe and feasible.
  • Keep the length of the gathering short. Consider getting together between or after meals.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Always wash hands before and after eating, as well as before and during food preparation.
  • Avoid common food utensils. Bring your own food and utensils.
  • Avoid potlucks, family-style meals (passing food person to person) or buffets. Consider having take-out, pre-portioned food, have guests bring their own food or have one person wearing a mask serve all food to avoid having multiple people share serving utensils.
  • Avoid non-essential travel, especially from higher transmission to lower transmission areas.  Stay and celebrate where you are with the people you live with.
  • Use touchless garbage cans if possible. 

Alternative ways to celebrate

  • Consider hosting a virtual celebration. Be creative – sing songs, play virtual games or watch a movie together online.
  • Instead of a large family dinner, enjoy an outdoor walk with your loved ones.