What's allowed and not allowed under Ontario's stricter social gathering limits
Published Saturday, September 19, 2020 3:37PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 19, 2020 3:38PM EDT
As alarm bells ring over a concerning spike in new COVID-19 cases, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced Saturday that effective immediately social gathering limits have been cut in the entire province.
Ford said the province needed to take "decisive action" to stop the spread of the disease.
This week, new COVID-19 cases in Ontario hit highs not seen since early June.
Here's a full breakdown of the new gathering rules:
- Private gatherings capped at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
- These limits only apply to unmonitored and private social gatherings, which include functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas
- Indoor and outdoor events cannot be merged together. For example, gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted
- The new limits do 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
The new rules are effective immediately
Here's what happens if you are caught breaking the rules:
- A minimum fine of $10,000 for organizers of a gathering that exceed the limit
- Authority for the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe additional types of premises for the purpose of the new offence
- Authority for a police officer, special constable or First Nations constable to order the temporary closure of a premises where there are reasonable grounds to believe that any gathering exceeding the number of people allowed is taking place and require individuals to leave the premises