COVID-19 – Social & Family Gatherings, Organized Meetings & Events
Last Edited/Reviewed: 2:17 p.m., February 26, 2021
Before planning or attending a social gathering, celebration or family event, check the Peterborough Public Health COVID-19 colour restriction level to determine how many people can gather at this time. Indoor and outdoor gathering limits still require individuals who are not from the same household to keep 2 metres distance apart.
Social gathering requirements for all COVID-19 colour restriction levels:
Staying home and avoiding social gatherings is still the best way to protect yourself and others. Everyone is strongly advised to:
- follow public health advice,
- limit close contact to your household (the people you live with), and
- avoid travel in and outside Ontario, except for essential reasons.
Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive, close contact with one other household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation.
Connect virtually or by phone: Consider alternatives to meeting in person, such as holding events and gatherings virtually or by phone. Virtual gatherings are a safe way to visit and recognize occasions with people from outside of your household while limiting the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Measures to keep you safe:
- Maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) from others who are not in your household
- Wear a mask or face covering that is tightly fitted and covers your mouth, nose and chin where physical distancing is a challenge and where masks and face coverings are mandated to be worn.
- Wearing a mask or face covering is recommended outdoors when you can’t physically distance from others outside of your household.
- Stay home if you feel sick or unwell. Use Ontario’s Online COVID-19 Assessment Tool to help determine if you need further care.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60-90% alcohol) when your hands are not visibly soiled.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly, use a disinfectant that is approved by Health Canada and has a Drug Identification Number (DIN) or a Natural Product Number (NPN). Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions when using disinfectants. Health Canada maintains a list of disinfectants with evidence for use against COVID-19.
Weddings and Funerals (the rite, ceremony, or service):
If you a renting or hosting your event at a banquet hall, community centre, or similar facility, you may have UP TO 30% the room capacity attend the rite, ceremony or service, based on ability to physically distance.
UP TO 100 people may attend an outdoor rite, ceremony or service, based on the ability to physically distance.
Indoor and outdoor limits CANNOT be combined to get higher limits.
Weddings and Funerals (receptions, dinners, social gatherings held at staffed businesses):
- Capacity limit for the venue, where physical distancing can be maintained:
- 50 people indoors or
- 100 people outdoors
- Booking multiple rooms for the same event not permitted
- Patrons must be screened prior to entering the facility (passive)
- Establishments must be closed from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.
- Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- No consumption of liquor permitted between 12 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Members of different households must be physically distanced (i.e. seated at separate tables)
Restaurants, Bars and Other Food and Drink Establishments
- Require patrons to be seated; 2 metres minimum or impermeable barrier required between tables
- Limit of 6 people may be seated together and can only be members of the same household
- No buffet style service
- Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metres distance and face covering required
- Require contact information for all seated patrons
- Face coverings required except when eating or drinking only
- Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible
- Dancing, singing and performing music is permitted, with restrictions
Venue operators must understand weddings and similar events are high-risk activities. As such, if the venue/operator choses to permit dancing, these protocols must be in place:
- Dancing is restricted, not prohibited – dancing may happen IF the people dancing, are part of the same household
- First dances (i.e. Father/Daughter, Mother/Groom, newly married couple) may be permitted if the people dancing are part of the same household
- Physical distancing between dancers NOT in the same household is mandatory
- Facility operators need to ensure that there is signage placed around the about these rules
- Regular and consistent messaging to guests is vital
- There should be circles, grids, or other similar markings on the floor to ensure that physical distancing is maintained
- Ensure the emcees/DJ communicates these messages as well:
- Guests may only dance with people in their household
- Guests must stay within the indicated dance space
- Violation could be a potential offence
- Face coverings must be worn if dancing indoors
- Owners/Operators of the facility/venue are responsible to ensure compliance with Public Health measures
Meeting & Event Facilities
Meeting & event facility owners and operators are required to modify their facility operations to ensure the safety of their staff and all users. Use these following resources:
- Peterborough Public Health’s COVID-19 Response Level
- Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework – Government of Ontario
- Guidance for meeting and event facilities during COVID-19– Government of Ontario
Meeting & Event Organizers
Organizers and permit-holders of meetings and events, regardless of their purpose or size, have a responsibility to assess the risks associated with their event, and their ability to mitigate these risks. They are responsible for implementing public health measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection among all who participate (e.g., staff, performers, volunteers, patrons). This is includes:
- Have a safety plan
- Implement active screening for your staff and consider screening for patrons
- Require patrons in indoor settings (and any outdoor setting where physical distancing cannot be predictably maintained) to wear a face covering/mask and staff to wear face coverings/masks or PPE where appropriate
- Post passive screening signage
- Clean and disinfect to prevent COVID-19