Expanding Gathering Limits to Entire ProvincePublished on September 21, 2020
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Public Health Measures Table, Ontario is reducing limits on the number of people permitted to attend unmonitored and private social gatherings across the entire province, including here in York Region. These new limits are effective immediately.
Over the past several days we have seen an alarming growth in the number of COVID cases in the province. Earlier this week the government imposed these restrictions in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa. The latest data tells us that increased cases are the result of private and social gatherings.
The new limit on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored private social gathering across the province is:
- 10 people at an indoor event or gathering (previous limit of 50); or
- 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering (previous limit of 100).
These new limits are effective immediately.
Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together. Gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted.
The new limits will apply to unmonitored and private social gatherings include functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas.
The new limits will not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, recreational sporting or performing art events. Existing rules, including public health and workplace safety measures, for these businesses and facilities continue to be in effect.
By limiting the number of people permitted at a social gathering in these regions, we will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe. To support compliance with public health guidelines, we are making amendments to the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act.
If passed, those caught breaking the rules will face stiffer penalties, including setting a minimum fine of $10,000 for people who organize gatherings in private residences that violate social gathering restrictions and recklessly put others at risk.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health measures or restrictions can be further loosened or if they need to be tightened. We need everyone to follow the public health rules in order to prevent another province wide lockdown, and protect all citizens, especially the elderly and the vulnerable.
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