covid 19 virus

COVID-19 – Social Gatherings, Holidays, & Events

Last revised/reviewed: 11:41 a.m., November 24, 2020

Safest Social Gathering Practices

Social Gathering Limits

Hunting Season

Weddings & Funerals

Safest Social Gathering Practices

We are pausing social circles in Ontario.

As of October 2, 2020, you should limit close contact to people living in your own household and keep two metres physical distance from everyone else. If you live alone, you can consider having close contact with one other household you trust. You must keep 2 metres from people outside of your household.

As of Monday October 19th, York, Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa are in a modified Stage 2 due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases. The Peterborough Public Health Region is still in Stage 3 however, we need to urge all of our residents to:

  • Limit trips outside of home, except for essential purposes only such as work where it is not possible to work from home, school, grocery shopping, medical appointments, and outdoor healthy physical activity. In addition, travel to other regions in the province, especially from higher transmission to lower transmission areas, should only be for essential purposes;
  • Practice physical distancing of at least two metres with those outside your household;
  • Wear a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so; and
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly; and follow gathering limits and rules.
  • Do not go anywhere when you are sick or even feel mildly ill.  Always use the online self-assessment tool and follow the prompts.

Peterborough Public Health is strongly encouraging people to limit social gatherings to only include members of their own household.

Social Gathering Limits

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).

Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together. Gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted.

What does this mean?

  1. Do the 10 people include my household members/social circle?
    Yes, families can gather with others as long as they remain 2 metres apart from those who are not immediate household contacts. The total number cannot exceed 10 people indoors, or 25 people if gathering outdoors.
  2. Can my guests use my bathroom?
    Yes, minimize risk by encouraging hand hygiene and ensuring all horizontal and frequently touched surfaces are cleaned and sanitized between uses. At a minimum clean your bathroom before your guests arrive and after your guests leave.  You may choose to leave out cleaning supplies, and disposable paper towels for your guests to use at their discretion.
  3. What about serving food?
    Encourage handwashing and physical distancing, having only one person serve, avoid sharing utensils and dishware; consider having your guests bring their own food, utensils, and beverages. Buffet style should be avoided and instead, opt for single portion foods. For example, individual small bags or containers of snacks versus a one large bowl of snacks.
  4. Can I visit an outdoor eating area (patio) with up to 25 others?
    Yes, but all the members seated at one table must be from the same household/social circle. Otherwise individuals from different households/social circles need to be seated at separate tables to ensure physical distancing measures can be followed.
  5. Is this enforceable?
    Yes, this is enforceable by the police.  Please contact Peterborough Police Service non-emergency line: 705-876-1122 or Ontario Provincial Police non-emergency line: 1-888-310-1122.
  6. Can I exercise or play sports with a group of friends?
    Exercise is good for both your physical and mental health, however it is important to keep gatherings to 25 or less people outside and maintain physical distancing,  Check out Playing Unorganized Sports Safely for more information.
  7. I’m in a high-risk category (70 years and older, chronic condition, immunocompromised, etc.), can I still participate in a gathering of up to 10 people?
    During these uncertain times, it is recommended that certain high-risk populations remain in self-isolation. However, your mental wellness is also important. If you have questions and would like to discuss this further please feel free to contact Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000.


Hunting Season

Hunting in the Peterborough Public Health Area and COVID-19

Fall is a busy time for hunting in Peterborough County and the adjoining regions. Whether hunting moose, deer or other animals, it’s also important to take aim at COVID-19 by preventing its spread. Here is how to stay safe and make the most of your hunting experience during the pandemic.

NOTE: Due to rising COVID-19 cases in the province, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is urging everyone to limit trips outside of home for only essential purposes like work, school, groceries, medical appointments and outdoor physical activity.

In addition, travel to other regions of Ontario — especially from those areas with high rates of COVID-19 transmission to places with low COVID-19 transmission rates — should only be for essential purposes as well. Please keep this in mind before deciding to go hunting.

Ontario has suspended social circles. That means in-person gatherings should be limited to household contacts only. If you are not able to limit your contacts to people from your household, you must:

  • limit indoor gatherings to 10 or fewer people
  • maintain 2 metres physical distance from others (which might mean that there won’t be space to accommodate up to 10 people at your camp)
  • wear a mask when 2 metres physical distancing is not possible
  • avoid sharing common utensils like cookware and coffee pots
  • thoroughly clean and  disinfect commonly touched objects like faucets and door knobs

Hunting and COVID-19 Prevention

  • Do not put other hunters or individuals at risk. If you’re sick with COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and self-isolate.
  • Use Ontario’s online COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool to see what to do next, or call Telehealth Ontario at 1 (866) 797-0000 for guidance.
  • If going to a hunt camp, follow any travel advisories.
  • Also consider COVID-19 transmission rates in the area where you want to hunt.
  • Ensure physical distancing on the drive to the hunt camp/site.
    • Stick to 2 people per vehicle. The second person should sit in the back, passenger-side seat to ensure proper distance from the driver.
    • Masks should also be worn on the trip.
    • The only exception to this 2-person limit is if you are travelling in the same vehicle with people from your own household.
  • Pack supplies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Take soapalcohol-based hand sanitizer, face coverings/masks, and cleaning/disinfectant supplies.

At Your Hunting Site/Hunt Camp

  • Keep hunting groups at one camp to 10 people or less to comply with Ontario’s indoor gathering limits. The exception would be if people can divide into groups of 10 or less, each with its separate accommodations such as tents, trailers, or separate buildings (and each of which would have its own specific indoor gathering limit). In this case, the maximum number of people allowed on the entire camp property would be up to 25 people (as per Ontario’s limit on outdoor gatherings).
  • Keep your distance from others. While camp life is often communal, physical distancing is critical to preventing transmission of COVID-19 so always maintain 2 metres (6 feet) from other hunters who are outside your household.
  • Bring your own tent/trailer in which to sleep and cook. This reduces your exposure to others.
  • If physical distancing isn’t possible, wear face coverings/masks. This applies at camp or in hunting blinds (especially if enclosed).
  • Socialize outdoors rather than inside buildings. Being outdoors reduces the spread of COVID-19.
  • Avoid buffet-style meals. Have people prepare/cook their own meals, ideally in their own tent/trailer. If eating a meal together, have one person make/serve the meal and have them wear a face covering while doing so. Ensure to maintain physical distancing, especially when eating.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water. If you don’t have access to soap, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
  • Clean and disinfect common and high-touch surfaces at the camp.
  • Do not share hunting gear/equipment or personal items (e.g. cigarettes, drinks, playing cards, cutlery). It’s best to only use your own items.
  • Track the names and contact information of people in your hunting party, just in case contact tracing is needed should someone get COVID-19.

 If someone develops one or more symptoms of COVID-19 while hunting, have a plan to communicate with the group and have the individual return home to self-isolate immediately. Contact Telehealth Ontario for guidance at 1 (866) 797-0000, or contact 911 if symptoms are severe.


Additional Resources

For questions or more information, call 705-743-1000, email


Weddings & Funerals

Please review the COVID-19 Wedding Planning Checklist for details on planning your special day.

Weddings, Funerals, and Similar Gatherings

Gathering limits are subject to changes as the region moves between COVID-19 levels. To determine which level Peterborough region is in and how that may impact your event please visit the COVID-19 Response Framework page.

Ontario Guidance for Meetings, Events, Ceremonies, and Rites

Ontario Guidance for Funeral & Bereavement

Staff/supervised events/gatherings

  • Businesses and facilities operating in accordance with O. Reg. 364/20. For example, convention centres, wedding venues, banquet halls.
  • Indoor – 50 people or less
  • Outdoor – 100 people or less

Unstaffed/unsupervised events/gatherings

  • Any place other than a business or organization operating in accordance with O. Reg. 364/20. For example, parties, dinners, barbeques, wedding receptions at private residences, backyards, parks, and other recreation areas.
  • Indoor – 10 people or less
  • Outdoor – 25 people or less

Religious Service, Ceremony or Rite

  • For example, Place of worship, banquet hall, park. Events and social gatherings associated with the service, ceremony or rite must comply with applicable gathering limits.
  • Indoor – 30% of the room capacity or less
  • Outdoor – 100 people or less

All gatherings

  • All gathering limits are subject to guests’ ability to maintain two metres/six feet physical distance from those outside their household.
  • Performers and staff do not count towards the gathering limits.
  • Indoor events cannot be combined with an outdoor event to increase gathering size.
  • Outdoor religious services, rites and ceremonies held in personal backyards must comply with outdoor gathering limits for staffed/supervised events. Social gatherings before or after must comply with gathering limits for private/unsupervised events.