COVID-19: These are Ontario’s Guidelines for Celebrating Christmas and Holidays

The Ontario government announced today that residents should celebrate the upcoming winter holidays only with the people they live with, regardless of the COVID-19 situation in their region.

The province issued its initial guidance for the holiday period, saying it knows Ontarians are already making plans.

It said those who live alone can join another household to celebrate, but everyone else should stick to their own household and follow public health guidelines for their area.

 

As per the guidelines, 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.

The provincial government is also planning to launch a “new holiday web page” to provide more direct and up-to-date guidance on how individuals and families can plan for a safe holiday season.

Ontario government also released a list of safer and riskier holiday activities for Ontarians to consider while planning for the holiday season.

Social Gathering Limits by Level under the Regulations

 
  • In all levels, people are required to comply with public health guidance on physical distancing;
  • Indoor and outdoor limits can not be combined to increase the applicable limit;
  • The specified limits apply to gatherings even if in a private dwelling, including houses, apartment buildings, condominium buildings and post-secondary student residences;
  • The limits do not apply to a gathering of members of a single household.

Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect and Orange-Restrict:

  • The limit for indoor social gatherings is 10 people;
  • The limit for outdoor social gatherings is 25 people.

Red-Control:

  • The limit for indoor social gatherings is five people;
  • The limit for outdoor social gatherings is 25 people.

Lockdown (Stage 1):

  • 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;
  • The limit for outdoor social gatherings is 10 people.

Safer Holiday Activities

  • Virtual holiday gatherings or events with family, friends or co-workers.
  • Outdoor holiday activities such as building a snowman or going on a sleigh ride with members of your household.
  • Visiting Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus or their elves outdoors and taking photos while keeping two metres apart.
  • Attending a drive-in or drive-thru event.
  • Watching holiday or other movies with your household.
  • Decorating your doors and putting up lights around your home.
  • Lighting your menorah.
  • Baking holiday treats with your immediate household.
  • Donating to your favourite holiday charity or toy drive.

Riskier Holiday Activities

  • In-person holiday gatherings or events, particularly gatherings where masks or face coverings must be removed to eat or drink.
  • Indoor holiday activities such as having overnight guests or sleepovers with friends or people outside your household.
  • Visiting Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus or their elves indoors and taking photos without being two metres apart. Children are not permitted to sit on Santa’s lap this year.
  • Visiting family and friends for non-essential reasons

According to the news release, a person or business is not found compliant with orders under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (“Reopening Ontario Act”), could be ticketed with a fine of $750 under the Act.

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  • One Comment

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    1. Greg Janisse

      Is the premier going to follow these guidelines, as well as Trudeau. It would be embarrassing if they get caught with too many persons in their houses.

      December 23, 2020 at 12:49 PM

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