Ontario government provides guidelines on celebrating the holidays safely

The Ontario government released guidelines on how Ontarians can celebrate the holidays safely this year. (Photo credit: Canva.com).

The Ford government has released preliminary guidelines on how Ontarians can celebrate the holidays safely this year given will be a pandemic-tainted Christmas.

“I know there are many people looking forward to their traditional family celebrations at this time of year, but to keep your loved ones safe, traditions will have to be adjusted,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “We’re asking everyone to please stick to your own household when celebrating. Avoid big holiday parties or large family dinners to help us stop the spread of this deadly virus.”

Ontarians are advised to celebrate the holidays this year with members of your household and those who live alone can consider celebrating exclusively with one other household.

To celebrate with members outsides your household, the government suggests doing so virtually or participate in outdoor activities where physical distancing is possible. Other activity ideas can be found here on Ontario.ca.

Regardless of what you choose to do, the provincial government is reminding people to adhere to public health guidelines and follow additional regulations set out in the COVID-19 response framework. A holiday webpage will be launched shortly to give more guidance on how to celebrate safely this year.

“With the recent news about several vaccines, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I realize that it won’t be easy, but we must continue to follow public health advice and look for new and creative ways to celebrate this year,” said Christine Elliott, Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

General guidelines include staying home if you have COVID-19 symptoms, avoid social gatherings outside of your household, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering, wash and sanitize hands frequently. and get tested if you display symptoms or have come in contact with some who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Ontarians are also reminded to follow gathering limits specific to the level their public health unit region is in. These limits do not apply to gatherings of members of a single household and differ for religious ceremonies (more info can be found here: O. Reg. 82/20O. Reg. 263/20, and O. Reg. 364/20).

Any individual or business found not following orders under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 will be ticketed with a fine of $750.

Gathering limits in Ontario:

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.


  • 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.

“Everyone has a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and by strictly following these measures we can all plan for a healthy holiday season while keeping our loved ones safe,” said Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams.

More info:

Original news release
Press conference video