Province releases guidelines to stay safe during the holidays

Avoid large family gatherings this holiday season

The Province of Ontario is out with a series of tips in order to keep folks safe during the holidays this year.

“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 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. By following this public health advice, we can all have a safe and fun holiday season.”

Christmas In June
The province is urging folks not to gather with extended family this holiday season

The following guidance is based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the province’s Public Health Measures Table:

Safer Holiday ActivitiesRiskier Holiday Activities
Virtual holiday gatherings or events with family, friends or co-workers.In-person holiday gatherings or events, particularly gatherings where masks or face coverings must be removed to eat or drink. 
Outdoor holiday activities such as building a snowman or going on a sleigh ride with members of your household.Indoor holiday activities such as having overnight guests or sleepovers with friends or people outside your household.
Visiting Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus or their elves outdoors and taking photos while keeping two metres apart.Visiting Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus or their elves indoors and taking photos without being two metres apart. Children are not permitted to sit on Santa’s lap this year.
Attending a drive-in or drive-through event.Visiting family and friends for non-essential reasons.
Watching holiday or other movies with your household, decorating your home, or lighting your menorahHosting or attending social gatherings or organized public events that do not adhere to provincial or local requirements. See below for information about the gathering limits that apply in the various zones.

A new holiday web page will be launched shortly to provide more direct and up-to-date guidance on how individuals and families can plan for a safe holiday season.

“The holidays are a special time of the year for many people, and while we all want to spend time with family and friends, we must celebrate safely to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Minister Elliott. “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.”