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Social Gathering Limits: Additional Guidance on Indoor and Outdoor Events and Gatherings

Hamilton, ON – Last weekend, the provincial government announced that the maximum number of people allowed at unmonitored and private social gatherings would be reduced in a continued effort to manage the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario.

Gathering limits are set differently for events and gatherings that are staffed/supervised, unstaffed/unsupervised and for religious services, ceremonies or rites.

Event Setting Staffed/supervised events/gatherings Businesses and organizations operating in accordance with O. Reg. 364/20 and with staff monitoring the event/gathering. Unstaffed/unsupervised events/gatherings Any place other than a business or organization operating in accordance with O. Reg. 364/20. Religious Service, Ceremony or Rite Places of worship, banquet halls and parks.
INDOOR 50 people or less

i.e. bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, recreational sporting or performing arts events.
10 people or less

i.e. parties, dinners, wedding receptions at private residences
30% of the room capacity or less to maintain physical distancing.
OUTDOOR 100 people or less

i.e. patio dining, recreational sporting or performing arts events.
25 people or less

i.e. parties, dinners, barbeques, wedding receptions at private residences, backyards, parks, and other recreation areas.
100 people or less

Some additional guidance for all events and gatherings include:

  • Staff and performers hired by a venue do not count towards gathering limits.
  • If food or drink is served, guests must remain seated except to use the washroom or leave. No mingling.
  • Mask/face covering must be worn at all times indoors except when eating, and outdoors when physical distancing is challenging.
  • Guests should physically distance and remain two metres/six feet from all other guests outside their household or social circle.
  • Hired performers who sing or play a brass/wind instrument must be separated from guests by a physical barrier.
  • Indoor and outdoor gathering numbers cannot be merged together.

To help residents better understand these gathering limits, the City has developed some examples of what is and is not permitted at indoor and outdoor events and gatherings.

Indoors

Activities allowed under the new gathering restrictions

  • Going out to eat at a restaurant
  • Attending an event at a banquet hall or convention centre with a maximum of 50 people inside the same room
  • Going to see a movie at a cinema with 50 people or less inside the theatre
  • Going to an indoor concert, with a maximum of 50 people in the audience and while performers who sing or play a brass/wind instrument are separated from guests by a physical barrier.
  • Playing hockey or basketball at an indoor venue within the established health and safety guidelines. 

Activities NOT allowed under the new gathering restrictions

  • Organizing or attending a private dinner party or other indoor private gathering with more than 10 people
  • Organizing and hosting an indoor house party with more than 10 people.
  • Attending a birthday party held inside a home with more than 10 people.

Outdoors

Activities allowed under the new gathering restrictions

  • Playing a game of outdoor baseball or football with the proper permit in place
  • Attending an outdoor concert where staff are responsible for ensuring proper health and safety measures are in place.

Activities NOT allowed under the new gathering restrictions

  • Playing a pick-up sport like baseball or dodgeball with more than 25 people
  • Attending a backyard BBQ with more than 25 people.
  • Attending a backyard baby shower with more than 25 people.

Apple farms, orchards and pumpkin farms are businesses under Schedule 1 of O. Reg 364/20, and as such they are not subject to the new gathering limits. Drive in and drive-thru venues are also not subject to gathering limits. However, businesses are required to comply with all aspects of the regulation including ensuring visitors are able to maintain two metres of physical distance.

At this time, the City’s Municipal Law Enforcement’s team is focusing on educating residents about the new provincial orders/limits. The host or organizer of a private function or gathering may be found guilty of an offence under the new regulation. Attendees may also be charged.

For more information: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/58449/ontario-limits-the-size-of-unmonitored-and-private-social-gatherings-across-entire-province

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