Celebrate the Holiday Season Safely

Published on November 25, 2020

The holidays are a special time of the year for many people, and while we all want to spend time with family and friends, we must celebrate safely to stop the spread of COVID-19.

To support Ontarians as they begin to safely plan for the season, the Ontario government, based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and input from the Public Health Measures Table, is providing preliminary guidance on how to safely celebrate this year and protect your loved ones.

No matter where you live in the province, the safest way to spend the holiday this year is by only celebrating in-person with the people you live with and celebrating virtually with everyone else.

If you live alone, consider exclusively celebrating with one additional household as a safe way to spend the holidays.

These restrictions are mandatory in regions under Lockdown, where indoor social gatherings are not permitted, except for a gathering of members of a single household, or a gathering that includes members of a household and one other person from outside that household who lives alone.

Individuals living away from home, including those studying at colleges and universities, should consider doing a self-quarantine, or reducing close contact with others, 10 to 14 days before returning home for the holidays.

Please remember that you must adhere to public health and workplace safety measures and rules in your region.

A new holiday web page will be launched shortly to provide more direct and up-to-date guidance on how individuals and families can plan for a safe holiday season.

Everyone has a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and by strictly following these measures we can all plan for a healthy holiday season while keeping our loved ones safe.

Public Health Guidance

It is important for everyone to adhere to the public health measures in their communities, especially when connecting with others. All Ontarians are strongly recommended to continue doing the following:

  • Stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild;
  • Avoid social gatherings and limit close contacts to your household or the people you live with;
  • Maintain two metres of physical distancing from everyone else;
  • Adhere to the restrictions in your region on public and private gatherings;
  • Wear a face covering indoors and wear one outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained or if wearing one is required;
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly;
  • Cover your cough;
  • Get tested if you have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, or if you've been advised of exposure by your local public health unit or through the COVID Alert mobile app;
  • Individuals and families from higher transmission regions should avoid travel to lower transmission regions (e.g., from Red level to Orange level), except for essential reasons; and
  • Download the COVID Alert mobile app.

Ontarians are advised to visit Ontario.ca/CovidResponse to learn what public health measures are in place in their community, and check with their public health unit for any additional information or restrictions. Advice may also vary by the level a public health unit is in, which can change depending on public health trends in the region as the holiday season approaches.

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