Closures, Events and Gatherings

What businesses and public areas are closed?

​The following high-risk places and activities will remain closed, even if a region has entered Stage 3: 

  • Amusement parks and water parks;
  • Buffet-style food services;
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements;
  • Overnight stays at camps for children;
  • Private karaoke rooms;
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports;
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars;
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments.

The continued closure of these places and activities is due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID‑19.

Face Coverings in WDG

Effective 12:01 a.m. on July 17, 2020, as part of Stage 3 reopening safety precautions, Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health for the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Health Unit, has updated the class order that any customer, patron, employee or visitor who enters a commercial establishment be required to wear a face covering at all times while inside the establishment, with the exception of:

  • Children under the age of two years.
  • Children under the age of five years (either chronologically or developmentally) who refuse to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver.
  • People whose ability to breathe in any way is inhibited by the face covering.
  • People that have any other medical reason they cannot wear a face covering safely, such as, but not limited to, respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties or difficulties in hearing or processing information.
  • The obligation to provide reasonable accomdation under the Ontario Human Rights Code requires exemption from this requirement. 

For more information, please read our Face Coverings FAQs

Events and gatherings

WDGPH Guidance

Public and Social Gathering Limits

For those regions allowed to enter Stage 3 (this includes WDG region), social gathering limits for businesses, services and public spaces have been expanded:

  • Indoor gathering limits increased to a maximum of 50 people;

  • Outdoor gathering limits increased to a maximum of 100 people;

For both indoor and outdoor social gatherings, physical distancing requirements remain in place with people who are not from the same household or social circle

Social Gatherings at Households

  • Limit indoor home gatherings to people in your social circle
  • Gatherings at your household with people outside of your social cirlce are recommended to be held outdoors
  • Only have the number of people to your home that the space will allow for physical distancing of at least 2 metres with people outside your household or social circle
  • Check out this resource: Hosting small gatherings (Public Health Agency of Canada) 

​Social Circles

  • Remain at maximum 10 person limit province-wide, regardless of whether the region is in stage 2 or 3. 
  • Your social circle must always be the same people
  • You can only belong to one social circle

When do gathering limits apply?

Gathering limits apply to higher risk settings and activities where people congregate, including:

  • All organized or spontaneous indoor and outdoor events and social gatherings (e.g., parties, fundraisers, fairs, wedding receptions, funeral receptions)
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Concerts and live shows, including performing arts
  • Convention centres and other meeting or event spaces
  • Facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g., gyms, fitness studios)
  • Festivals
  • Recreational attractions, courses and instruction (e.g., fitness classes, music lessons, tutoring)
  • Movie theatres
  • Real estate open houses
  • Sporting and racing events
  • Tour and guide services (including boat tours)

Indoor gathering limits apply to events that are fully or partially indoors. Indoor events and gatherings cannot be combined with an outdoor event or gathering to increase the applicable gathering size.

People at their place of work, including performers and crews, do not count towards gathering limits.

Public Health Agency of Canada: Risk Mitigation Tool for Gatherings and Events Operating During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Places of Worship

  • Places of worship may reopen to hold weddings, funerals or religious services, rites or ceremonies across the province with limiting indoor attendance to 30 per cent of building capacity and practicing physical distancing to ensure the safety of worshippers.
  • Outdoor gatherings at a place of worship (wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony) are permitted with a limit of 100 attendees.
  • All persons in attendance must practice physical distancing with all people who are not from the same household or social circle.
  • An indoor wedding or funeral reception must not exceed a limit of 50 people. 
  • An outdoor wedding or funeral reception must not exceed a limit of 100 people. 
  • Outdoor drive-in religious gatherings are permitted with motorized or non-motorized vehicles positioned a least two meters away from others.
  • Indoor gathering limits apply to events that are fully or partially indoors. Indoor events and gatherings cannot be combined with an outdoor event or gathering to increase the applicable gathering size.

  • People at their place of work, including performers and crews, do not count towards gathering limits.

For more information on reopening guidelines for faith community leaders please see: COVID-19 Guidance for Places of Worship

Restaurants and Bars

  • All restaurants, bars, concession stands, and other food and drink establishments may open for indoor dine-in
  • Establishments must take appropriate measures to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres between patrons from different households or social circles, unless separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier
  • Physical distancing of two metres between patrons from different households or social circles also continues to apply to food trucks, food courts, concession stands and tours (including tastings at wineries, breweries and distilleries)
  • All patrons will be required to be seated at all times, in both indoor and outdoor areas, with limited exceptions

Weddings, Funerals and Similar Gatherings

  • Places of worship and venues not otherwise restricted can open to conduct wedding ceremonies, funerals and similar gatherings within existing public health restrictions.
  • Guests that are not part of the same household or social circle should follow physical distancing guidelines for both indoor and outdoor events. 

Ceremony 

  • Indoor ceremonies limit guest attendance to a maximum of 30 per cent capacity of the venue
  • Outdoor ceremonies limit guest attendance to maximum 100 attendees
  • Indoor gathering limits apply to events that are fully or partially indoors. Indoor events and gatherings cannot be combined with an outdoor event or gathering to increase the applicable gathering size.

Reception

  • An indoor reception must not exceed a limit of 50 people
  • An outdoor reception must not exceed a limit of 100 people

Getting married during coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions (Ontario)

Small Outdoor Events

  • Small outdoor events, such as cultural celebrations, animal shows and fundraisers will be permitted in line with gathering-size restrictions of maximum 100 people, subject to local public health requirements.
  • Event organizers should have in place measures to enable physical distancing for people when in the event space and while waiting to enter, such as one-way traffic, marked lineup areas, and timed entry and length of stay.
  • Large outdoor events, such as concerts, large festivals, parades and amusement fairs, are not permitted.

Garage or Yard Sales

With the warm weather upon us, you may be eager to sell some belongings at a garage or yard sale. Perhaps you would like to do some neighbourhood second-hand shopping yourself. It is important to remember that an Emergency Order is in place which prohibits outdoor public and social gatherings of more than 100 people.

Please check with your local municipality as to whether garage and yard sales are permitted. If they are permitted, and you choose to host or attend an individual sale, please review the guidance below for keeping yourself and others safe. Larger community/neighbourhood yard sales are not currently recommended.

Guidance for Seller 

  • Cancel or postpone the sale if you or anyone in your 10-person social cirlce is feeling sick.
  • Where possible, ensure items for sale and tables are cleaned and disinfected.
  • Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water or sanitize hands (with a minimum of 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer) before and after handling items and/or exchanging money.
  • Sneeze and cough into a bent elbow or a tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Limit the handling of items as much as possible once your sale begins.
  • The total number of people permitted at the outdoor sale at any one time is limited to the number of people that can maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres in the designated driveway space. Consider:
    • Assigning one person to monitor how many people are shopping
    • Posting a sign which reminds shoppers to maintain physical distance of at least 2 metres
    • Marking (with chalk or tape) a spot for shoppers to wait their turn to shop
    • Marking (with chalk or tape) a one-way traffic flow for shoppers
    • Set up display tables a minimum of 2 meters apart to allow shoppers space to practice physical distancing
  • Wear a non-medical face covering if you feel physical distancing will be difficult to maintain.
  • Encourage shoppers to limit the handling of items as much as possible.
  • If possible, have hand sanitizer (minimum of 60% alcohol-based) available at the sale for yourself and shoppers.
  • Consider setting out a cash box for shoppers to pay and retrieve change themselves. If possible, encourage the use of e-transfer of money rather than cash, coins or cheques.
  • Avoid selling food or drinks at the sale.

Guidance for Shoppers

  • Avoid going to the sale if you are anyone in your 10-person social cirlce is sick.
  • Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water or sanitize hands (with a minimum of 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer) before and after handling items for sale and/or exchanging money.
  • Sneeze and cough into a bent elbow or a tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • If the total number of people at any one time prevents shoppers from maintaining physical distancing of at least 2 metres in the driveway space, consider waiting in your car or coming back at a different time when not so busy.
  • Be patient. Look for any signage, wait your turn to shop, and follow the one-way traffic flow of the sale.
  • Practice physical distancing while shopping (stay 2 meters away from others).
  • Wear a non-medical face covering if you feel physical distancing will be difficult to maintain.
  • Consider having only one family member shopping at one time.
  • Limit the handling of items as much as possible.
  • If possible, encourage the use of e-transfer of money rather than cash, coins or cheques.
  • COVID-19 viruses can survive on surfaces from several hours to days depending on several factors. Where possible, clean and disinfect items you buy prior to bringing them into your home (i.e. plastics, metals, wood, washing of fabrics). For objects that cannot be disinfected (i.e. cloth furniture) leave them outside or in a quarantined area for three days.1

References

  1. Government of Canada. [Internet]. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Summary of assumptions. 2020 April 14. [cited 2020 June 16]. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/assumptions.html
  2. Southwestern Public Health. [Internet]. Considerations for sale of second-hand items and/or yard and garage sales. June 11, 2020. Available from: https://www.swpublichealth.ca/sites/default/files/covid-19_guidance_for_yard_sales.pdf

For more information, visit www.wdgpublichealth.ca or contact our COVID-19 Call Centre (for non-health related questions) at 519-822-2715 ext. 4020. It is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit your local municipal website for more information on local closures.