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Gatherings and Social Circles

What is a Social Gathering?

As of July 17, 2020, the Province has set the limit on size of gatherings at 50 people or less for indoor settings and 100 people or less outdoors. It is important to continue to be COVID-SMART!

Consider the Risks

When deciding on what activities to participate in, here are some things to consider:

  • How busy or crowded will it be?  Will it be easy to stay 2m/6ft away from those outside your social circle? Outdoor events are lower risk than indoors.
  • Are face coverings/masks encouraged?  It is recommended to wear a face covering even when outdoors if it is a large gathering.
  • Will there be alcohol?  Consuming alcohol, even small amounts, can lower our inhibitions and we may take fewer precautions.
  • Has there been an increase in cases locally?  Avoid traveling to or from areas with many active cases.

Check out this poster on COVID-19 & Activities

*Note: People gathering indoors for religious services, rites or ceremonies, and wedding ceremonies or funeral services, can continue to fill up to 30 per cent of the capacity of the particular venue, as introduced in Stage 2. For more information on religious ceremonies – see the “Places of Worship” tab on our COVID-19 and Businesses page.

What is a Social Circle?

At a glance:

  • 10 people or less
  • Close contact is allowed (e.g. hugging)
  • Must always be the same people
  • You can belong to only one circle
  • Continue frequent hand hygiene and cover your cough or sneeze
  • Sick individuals should immediately limit contact with their circle and seek testing if they have COVID-19 symptoms

On June 12, the Province announced that people of Ontario can expand their household “bubbles” and establish a “social circle” of no more than 10 people. This recommendation was made to support mental health and well-being and to reduce social isolation. These 10 people or less can come into close contact with each other without having to practice physical distancing measures. By restricting close contact to only one circle, this will facilitate rapid contact tracing in the event of a case of COVID-19.

To form a safe social circle these steps should be followed:

  • Start with the people you live with or who regularly come into your household. Large households may not be able to add additional people to their circle, as it would exceed ten people.
  • If your current circle is under 10 people, you can add members to your circle, including another household, family members or friends.
  • Get agreement from everyone that they will join the circle and no other one.
  • Keep your social circle safe. Maintain physical distancing with anyone outside of your circle.
  • Be true to your social circle. No one should be part of more than one circle.

A few additional considerations:

  • Individuals at higher risk may wish to not participate in a family or social circle, limit the size of their circle, or limit the amount of interaction with their circle.
  • If social circles pose a challenge, or not everyone in the circle can commit to being in only one circle, then sticking to social gatherings with physical distancing measures may be a better option.