gathering limit ontario

These are the new gathering limits in Ontario as reopening starts this long weekend

New gathering limits were introduced across Ontario as part of the provincewide shutdown that commenced on April 3, banning indoor private gatherings outright in all regions, and capping outdoor groups at five people.

When the stay-at-home order that came into place on April 8 was extended past its initial four-week duration mid-month, some other new restrictions also came into effect, including the closure of outdoor recreational amenities and stricter rules for outdoor get-togethers, which were narrowed to between only those who live in the same household.

But now, as part of the province's gradual reopening that is commencing in part this weekend, those limits are finally being upped once again.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, outdoor gatherings of up to five people from different households will be permitted outdoors. Indoor socializing will still remain off-limits for now.

Then, as part of the first of the province's gradual three-step reopening roadmap, gatherings of up to 10 will be authorized starting the week of June 14. At the same time, things like outdoor dining (with a maximum of four people per table) and non-essential retail (with 15 per cent capacity limits) can also reopen.

The province may move into the next step of the roadmap every 21 days, with the remaining steps upping gathering limits to 25 outdoors in step two, and "large outdoor and indoor gatherings" in step three.

The steps are dependant upon vaccination rates: at least 60 per cent of adults in Ontario will need to have one dose for step one, at least 70 per cent will need to have one dose and 20 per cent will need to be fully vaccinated to move into step two, and 70-80 per cent should have one dose and 25 per cent should be fully vaccinated to progress to step three.

Residents are asked, of course, to partake in newly-sanctioned activities this weekend safely and cautiously, and to keep on physical distancing even when outside, and donning face coverings when two metres of distance is not possible.

Also, to avoid things like carpooling, non-essential travel between regions (or anywhere, in general), crowding or going to crowded places, and sharing food, drinks or overnight accommodation.

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