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.
Holidays and celebrations are going to look and feel different during the pandemic.
- For indoor organized public events and social gatherings, a maximum of 25 people are permitted, including your own household members.
- For outdoor organized public events and social gatherings, a maximum of 100 people are permitted, providing physical distancing can be maintained.
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.
If you choose to hold or participate in an in-person gathering or event with people outside your household, you should take precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission:
When gathering outdoors with:
- A group of fully vaccinated individuals, no face covering or physical distancing is necessary.
- People from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or vaccination status is unknown, you should consider wearing a face covering if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
When gathering indoors with:
- A group of fully vaccinated individuals, you may consider removing their face covering if everyone is comfortable.
- People from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or status is unknown, you should wear a face covering and physically distance.
Regardless of setting, you can wear a face covering and physically distance if you feel it is right for you, especially if you or others are immunocompromised or at high-risk of severe disease and/or exposure to COVID-19.
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.
- Virtual gatherings are the safest way to celebrate, especially if people are unvaccinated or their vaccine status isn’t known. Gatherings or events are safer outdoors than indoors. Physical distancing must still be maintained outdoors.
- The fewer people who gather, the lower the risk of COVID-19.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly.
- 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.
- Use touchless garbage cans if possible.
- Individuals considered at high-risk of severe disease and/or exposure to COVID-19 are:
- Congregate living for seniors (e.g. long-term care homes, retirement homes);
- Adults in First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations;
- Adult chronic home care recipients;
- Adults ages 80 and older;
- Pregnant women; and
- Health care workers.
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 hike with your loved ones.
If you choose to trick-or-treat door-to-door:
- Stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild.
- Trick-or-treat outdoors as much as possible.
- If trick-or-treating indoors, maintain physical distancing as much as possible and wear a face covering, especially when physical distancing is a challenge.
- Be creative and build the face covering into your costume, but know that a costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering, and that a costume mask should not be worn over a non-medical mask or face covering because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe.
- Do not crowd doorsteps - Take turns one at a time.
- Do not sing or shout for your treats.
- Keep interactions brief with those giving out treats.
- Use hand sanitizer often, especially before and after handling your face covering, after touching frequently touched surfaces, when you arrive home from trick-or-treating, and before and after handling or eating treats.
- There is no need to clean or disinfect pre-packaged treats.
If you choose to give out treats:
- Do not participate in Halloween festivities if you have symptoms, even if they are mild.
- Keep interactions with trick-or-treaters short and encourage them to move along after receiving their treat from you.
- Consider wearing a face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained
- If you are dressing up, consider including the face covering as part of your costume.
- Give out only purchased and packaged treats.
- Do not ask trick-or-treaters to sing or shout for their treats.
- Clean your hands often throughout the evening using soap and water or with hand sanitizer.
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