ontario gathering limit

Here's how many people you're allowed to hang out with under Step 1 of reopening in Ontario

With Ontario cleared to enter Step 1 of the government's post-COVID Roadmap to Reopening plan on Friday, June 11, you may have some questions about gathering limits (read: who you can see, how many at a time, and where).

This is understandable — the entire province has been under the strictest form of lockdown we've seen to date for more than two months now, and at least some form of pandemic restrictions have been in place for the last 18 months.

Memories of normal-ish life (the one after COVID hit but between various constantly changing stages of lockdown) may be fuzzy, but it's important to keep in mind that leaving shutdown doesn't mean we can do whatever we want.

Strict rules remain in place under Step 1 of the province's 3-step reopening framework, which we'll enter on Friday, including those around gathering limits.

Here are the rules for seeing friends, family and everyone else in the world under Step 1 of the plan, per the provincial government:

Outdoor social gatherings
  • The attendance limit will be raised from five people to 10 people for organized public events and social gatherings in an outdoor setting.
  • Groups of up to four people may dine together outdoors on restaurant and bar patios.
Indoor social gatherings
  • Indoor gatherings are not allowed, with some exceptions.
  • Members of the same household can gather together, in addition to one person from outside the household who lives alone and a caregiver.
Religious services, rites or ceremonies, including weddings and funerals
  • Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, are permitted at up to 15 per cent capacity of the event room.
  • Outdoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, are capped at the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres from one another.
Sports and fitness
  • Outdoor fitness classes, outdoor groups in personal training, and outdoor individual/team sports training are permitted with up to 10 people, among other restrictions
Performance spaces
  • No spectators at concert venues, theatres or cinemas, but up to 10 performers may gather outdoors "for the purpose of rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted concert, artistic event, theatrical performance or other performance."
Retirement homes
  • Retirement homes are exempt from organized public event and social gathering limits.

School events
  • Outdoor end-of-school-year celebration ceremonies held by a school or private school are exempt from outdoor gathering limits, with restrictions.
  • Essential and select retail can open at 25 per cent capacity.
  • Non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity.
  • Retail stores in malls are closed to in-person customers unless they have a street facing entrance.
Lead photo by

Stephanie Yakubenko

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