Last updated: January 11, 2022 at 7:45 p.m.

Read Toronto Public Health’s Guidance for planning indoor and outdoor events and gatherings. On January 4, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued a Letter of Instruction to all employers in the City of Toronto permitted to be open under the Reopening Ontario Act. Employers permitted to be open are required to take the additional measures set out in this Letter to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The following guidance is intended to help organizers and permit-holders of events and gatherings reduce the spread of COVID-19. It describes the requirements under O. Reg. 263/20 of the Reopening Ontario Act and is applicable to:

  • Concerts and live shows, including performing arts events, and movie theatres/cinemas
  • Meeting or event spaces
  • Other organized or spontaneous indoor and outdoor events and social gatherings (e.g. parties, fundraisers, wedding receptions, funeral receptions).

Organizers can also use the COVID-19 Checklist for Safely Organizing Events & Gatherings.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals and businesses with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

Organizers, operators and permit-holders of events/gatherings, regardless of their purpose or size, have a responsibility to assess the risks associated with their event/gathering, and their ability to mitigate these risks. They are responsible for implementing measures to reduce the risk of infection among all those who participate in their activities (e.g. staff, performers, volunteers, patrons). This includes managing lines and crowds within and around the perimeter of the event space.

What is Permitted (O. Reg. 263/20)

Indoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas

Indoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas may open for the purpose of rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted concert, artistic event, theatrical performance or other performance if they comply with the following conditions:

  • No spectators may be permitted in the concert venue, theatre or cinema.
  • Every performer and other person who provides work for the concert venue, theatre or cinema must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person, except,
  • if it is necessary for the purposes of the performance or rehearsal that the performers or persons who provide work for the concert venue, theatre or cinema must be closer to each other, or
  • where necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  • The person responsible for the concert venue, theatre or cinema must,
  • record the name and contact information of every performer and other person who provides work for the concert venue, theatre or cinema who enters an indoor area of the facility,
  • maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
  • only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Acton request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.

Outdoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas

Outdoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas may open if they comply with the following conditions:

  • Spectators must be seated at all times while watching the concert, event, performance or film.
  • The number of members of the public at a concert, event, performance or movie within the concert venue, theatre or cinema at any one time must not exceed 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity for the concert, event, performance or movie.
  • No member of the public may attend a seated concert, event, performance or movie within the concert venue, theatre or cinema unless they have made a reservation to do so.
  • No member of the public may be permitted to enter the indoor premises of the concert venue, theatre or cinema, except,
    • to access a washroom,
    • to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route,
    • to purchase admission,
    • to engage in retail sales, or
    • as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  • The person responsible for the concert venue, theatre or cinema must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the concert venue, theatre or cinema is permitted to operate.
  • Every member of the public who is outdoors at a concert, event, performance or movie must wear a mask or face covering in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin, unless they are entitled to an exception or are seated with members of their own household only, and every member of the household is seated at least two metres from every person outside their household.
  • The person responsible for the concert venue, theatre or cinema must prepare a safety plan.

Drive-in and drive-through events

Outdoor drive-in or drive-through concert venues and theatres, drive-in cinemas may open if they comply with the following conditions:

  • Each person in attendance at the drive-in or drive-through venue, must remain within a motor vehicle designed to be closed to the elements except,
    • where necessary to purchase admission,
    • where necessary to use a washroom, or
    • as may otherwise be required for the purposes of health and safety.
  • The driver of a motor vehicle at the drive-in or drive-through venue must ensure that it is positioned at least two metres away from other motor vehicles.

Indoor meeting and event spaces, conference centres and convention centres

  • The person responsible for a business or place that is open may only rent out indoor meeting or event space if the indoor meeting or event space is only rented out,
  • to a provider of child care within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014;
  • for the purpose of the provision of social services;
  • for the purpose of collective bargaining, so long as no more than 10 people are permitted to occupy the rented space;
  • for the purpose of delivering or supporting the delivery of court services;
  • for operations by or on behalf of a government;
  • for the purpose of delivering or supporting the delivery of government services;
  • for the purpose of operations and services of the health sector, including immunization clinics;
  • for the purpose of delivering or supporting mental health support services or addictions support services, so long as no more than 10 people are permitted to occupy the rented space; or
  • for the purpose of conducting in-person examinations for the registration, licensing or accreditation of persons in any of the fields or occupations described in subsection 2 (2) of Schedule 8 to Ontario Regulation 82/20, made under the Act, so long as no more than 50 students are permitted to occupy the rented space.
  • Nothing in this section prevents a business or place from showing a meeting or event space by appointment for a prospective rental.

Outdoor meeting and event spaces, conference and convention centres

The person responsible for a business or place that is open may rent out outdoor meeting or event space if the business or place complies with the following conditions:

  • The person responsible for the business or place must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the business or place is permitted to operate.
  • No more than 10 people may be seated together at any table in the rented space unless everyone seated at the table is,
    • a member of the same household,
    • a member of up to one other household who lives alone, or
    • a caregiver for any member of either household.
  • Patrons must remain seated at all times in the rented space, except,
    • while entering the rented space and while moving to their table,
    • while exiting the rented space,
    • while going to or returning from a washroom,
    • while lining up to enter/exit the space or use the washroom, or
    • where necessary for the purposes of health and safety.
  • No patrons are permitted to dance or sing, including by performing karaoke, within the rented space.
  • The person responsible for the business or place must actively screen individuals in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the indoor premises of the business or place*.
  • The person responsible for the business or place* must,
  • record the name and contact information of every member of the public who attends a meeting or event,
  • maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and
  • only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.

*Does not apply if the business or place is rented out,

  • to a provider of child care within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014;
  • for the purpose of the provision of social services;
  • for the purpose of delivering or supporting the delivery of court services;
  • for operations by or on behalf of a government; or
  • for the purpose of delivering or supporting the delivery of government services.

Religious ceremonies, rites and services

Organized public events

  • No person shall attend an organized public event of more than 5 people if the event is held indoors.

Food and drink

  • Indoor dining is not
  • See Guidance for Food Premises for more information.
  • Vendors engaged in onsite food/beverage preparation in temporary establishments (e.g. tents/booths) at special events must comply with Reg. 493/17: Food Premises; including, but not limited to: the provision of a handwashing station for food handlers which is adequately supplied with hot and cold running water, an enclosed waste collection tank, liquid soap in a dispenser and paper towels.

Live entertainment

  • Performers must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any spectators or be separated from any spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
  • For more information, see Live Performance Health & Safety during COVID-19.

Social gatherings

  • No person shall attend a social gathering of more than 5 people indoors or 10 people outdoors.

Provincial Proof of Vaccination Policy

Measures for All Workplaces, Organizations & Businesses

Review the Guidance for Employers on Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace to plan and implement protocols to keep staff and patrons safe. Operators must also consider the following:

  • Staff attendance and operations
    • Collect contact information of all staff, essential visitors and other persons who provide work for or attend the facility.
    • Meeting and event spaces are required to record the name and contact information of every member of the public who attends a meeting or event.
  • Health screening for staff and patrons:
    • Active health screening (available in multiple languages) is required for every person who works at the business or organization before they enter the premises of the business or organization.
    • Ask all patrons to self-screen for COVID-19 (available in multiple languages) prior to entering the facility.
      • Meeting and event spaces, conference centres and convention centres must actively screen patrons in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the indoor premises of the business or place.

Safety Plan

All businesses and workplaces must prepare a safety plan. This safety plan must:

  • Describe measures/procedures that have been or will be implemented in the business, place, facility or establishment to reduce spread of COVID-19.
  • Include measures for screening, physical distancing, masks, cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects, wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and preventing and controlling crowding.
    • Concert venues, theatres, cinemas and drive-in/through events/venues, shall also include information as to how the business, place or event will,
      • prevent gatherings and crowds in the business or place or at the event;
      • ensure that physical distancing and wearing of masks in lines as applicable is complied with in the business or place or at the event; and
      • mitigate the risk of any interactive activities, exhibits or games that may be included in the business or place or at the event.
    • Be in writing and made available to any person for review on request.
    • Be posted in a visible place to come to the attention of those working or attending the location.

Use the COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist to develop your safety plan.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems

  • Ensure the HVAC system(s) are properly maintained.
  • Increase outdoor air-exchange by:
    • Maximizing the outdoor air ratio of the HVAC system settings, or
    • Opening windows and doors, if it is safe to do so
  • Use the highest efficiency filters that are compatible with the HVAC system, if provided.
  • Keep seating and activities away from air vents and areas with high airflow.
  • Do not obstruct HVAC inlets and outlets.
  • When using ceiling fans, use an upward airflow rotation.
  • If portable fans are used, position fan with an upward movement to avoid blowing of air across people and surfaces.
  • There is no evidence the use of portable air purifiers will prevent the spread of COVID-19. If used, follow the manufacturer’s directions to decide where best to place the device. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance.
  • For more information, review the COVID-19: Transmission, Aerosols and Ventilation fact sheet.

Capacity Limits

  • Subject to any other provisions set out in O. Reg. 263/20, the person responsible for a place of business or facility that is open to the public shall limit the number of members of the public in the place of business or facility so that,
    • the members of the public are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the business or facility; and
    • the total number of members of the public in the business or facility at any one time does not exceed 50 per cent capacity
      • 50 per cent capacity is determined by taking 50 per cent of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
    • Unless otherwise provided, a capacity limit set out in O. Reg 263/20 applies to the whole business or facility, not to individual rooms or areas within the business or facility.

Physical Distancing

  • All people must maintain at least a two metres physical distance from others they don’t live with.
  • If live entertainment is performed for spectators, the performers must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any spectators or be separated from any spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.
  • Operators must ensure that patrons waiting in line maintain a distance of two metres from others.
    • Post physical distancing signs at all entrances, kiosks and/or service counters.
    • Place visual/textural markers spaced two metres apart (e.g. tape on the floor, pylons, signs) to encourage physical distancing.

Use of Masks and Face Coverings

  • All individuals must wear a mask or face covering indoors, as per Reg. 263/20.
  • Every person must wear a mask while attending an outdoor organized public event or gathering, including a concert, event, performance or movie, and within two metres of another individual who is not part of their household.
    • Masks or face coverings are strongly recommended in all outdoor spaces when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Masks must be worn in line-ups indoors, and are recommended in line-ups outdoors.
  • Some exceptions apply, including children under the age of two, and people with medical conditions that make wearing a mask difficult. Proof of exemption is not required.
  • Masks may be temporarily removed to consume food or drink; or if a person is performing or rehearsing in a concert, artistic event, theatrical performance or other performance.
  • City of Toronto bylaw requires that businesses with indoor spaces that are open to the public must develop a policy on the wearing of masks. Use the Mask By-law Checklist and Sample Policy.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment that covers the eyes, nose and mouth must be worn if, while providing service in an indoor area, the person
    • is required to come within two metres of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering; and
    • is not separated by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.

Recommendations to Promote Public Health Measures

Modify Programming

  • When required, host events outdoors.
    • If using a tent or canopy, at least two full sides must be open to the outdoors and not substantially blocked by any walls or other impermeable barriers.
  • Allow sufficient time between events/gatherings to allow safe and distanced exit and entry, and sufficient environmental cleaning in between.
  • Keep the duration of the event/gathering to a minimum to limit contact among patrons.
  • Patrons should remain seated as much as possible.
  • Close or restrict access to non-essential common areas (e.g. communal lounges).
  • Discourage activities that increase the risk of spreading COVID-19 (e.g. singing, cheering, dancing, playing wind instruments, hugging). Encourage alternative practices, such as humming, clapping, noisemakers, waving.

Modify and Arrange Site/Floor Plan

  • Design traffic flow that encourages one-way movement with prominent signage and/or floor markings.
  • Increase floor marking and aisle signage to allow people to find their seats more easily.
  • Arrange, mark and/or assign seating to encourage at least two metre distance between individuals who are not members of the same household, as required.
  • Ensure that patrons can access their event/meeting area without wandering (i.e. entering other event/meeting rooms/areas). If possible, use a dedicated entrance/exit.
  • Identify areas where crowding and bottlenecks are common, such as lobbies or bathrooms. Use volunteers, staff or barriers to redirect people who may gather in these areas.
  • Ensure enough space for people in high-traffic areas, between chairs, tables, and places where people may gather.

Manage Lines and Gatherings Within and Outside the Venue

  • Monitor and manage patron lines within and outside the venue.
  • Use barriers/structures to enclose the event space/venue.
  • Designate entry and exit points. Manage these areas to control the number of patrons. If the maximum number of patrons is reached, allow one person in for every person that leaves.
  • Stagger arrivals, departures and breaks to reduce congestion at entrances and exits and in common areas.
  • Discourage people from gathering and loitering outside the venue.

Ticket and Concession Kiosks/Booths

  • Encourage online or telephone ticket purchases to minimize line-ups at the ticket/service counter.
  • Include staggered arrival times to the ticket process to limit on-site queueing.
  • Install physical barriers at the point of sale (e.g. plexiglass shield).
  • Encourage electronic payment by debit or credit card, and to tap instead of using the PIN pad.
  • Use a contactless transaction process to exchange concessions and/or scan tickets.
  • Review the City of Toronto’s COVID-19 Guidance for Retail Settings, as applicable.

Communication

  • Provide information to staff, performers and patrons about event/venue operations (e.g. public health measures, available amenities).
  • Encourage staff and patrons to download the COVID Alert app so they can be notified directly if they have been in close contact with someone who was contagious with COVID-19.
  • Download information and display posters in high-visibility areas in your setting to promote messages about how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Other Resources

This document does not replace the need for applicable City of Toronto permits. COVID-19 mitigation and safety measures are a new consideration as part of event permitting, however, they do not replace any pre-existing permit requirements, health and safety practices, or conditions.


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The following checklist is intended to help organizers safely plan and host events and gatherings while reducing the risk of COVID-19. These may include:

  • Performing arts events, concerts and live shows
  • Exhibits and installations
  • Meetings and conferences
  • Donation drives and fundraisers

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals and businesses with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

1. Assess the Risk & Create a Safety Plan

2. Conduct COVID-19 Screening & Record Attendance

  • Advise staff/volunteers to report illness to their supervisor/manager and to stay home if sick.
  • Actively screen all staff/volunteers before starting each shift.
  • Ask all guests to self-screen before attending and to stay home if sick.
    • Some venues may be required to actively screen patrons entering their facility, including meeting and event spaces.
  • Communicate with all attendees, including posting signs at the entrance of the premises describing conditions for entry, (e.g. COVID-19 screening tool).
  • Advise anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms while at the event to go home right away and self-isolate. Instruct them to call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, their health care provider or an Assessment Centre to get tested.
  • Maintain attendance records of all staff and volunteers, including name, contact information, date and time. This will support contact tracing by Toronto Public Health should the need arise.
    • Some venues (e.g., meeting and event spaces) may be required to collect contact information for all people who enter their facility, including patrons.
  • Protect all personal information collected. Keep records for 30 days and then shred.

3. Request Proof of Vaccination

4. Limit Capacity

  • Comply with current provincial gathering limits.
  • Host events or activities virtually and/or outdoors, if possible.
  • Use a ticketing/registration system to help control capacity and support contact tracing, if necessary.
  • Post signs at the entrance stating the maximum number of people permitted at one time.

5.  Ensure Physical Distancing is Maintained

  • Ensure everyone stays at least two metres from people they don’t live with.
  • Space tents, booths, activities, and workstations at least two metres apart.
  • Ensure that all people waiting in line indoors and outdoors maintain two metres physical distancing from other groups of persons. Masks are required indoors and strongly recommended outdoors while waiting in line.
  • Keep the volume of amplified and acoustic sound low so that people do not need to speak loudly or lean close to each other in order to be heard.
  • Performers of live music must be separated from spectators by at least two metres or an impermeable barrier.
  • Communicate with all attendees, including placing physical distancing signs and floor stickers in high-traffic areas to remind individuals to keep two metres apart from others.

6. Promote Proper Hand Hygiene

  • Provide regular access to hand sanitizer with 70-90% alcohol concentration throughout the venue, and encourage staff, volunteers and guests to use it frequently.
  • Train staff/volunteers on proper hand hygiene techniques and respiratory etiquette.
  • Avoid shaking hands or other forms of contact with other people; use other forms of greeting.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Use contactless processes to purchase concessions, scan tickets, etc.
  • Post handwashing and respiratory etiquette signs at the entrance and throughout the premises.

7. Use Masks or Face Coverings

  • Operators are required to develop a policy on the wearing of masks. Use the Mask By-law Checklist and Sample Policy
  • Ensure masks/face coverings are always worn when indoors.
  • Ensure masks/face coverings are always worn outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.
  • Train staff/volunteers on mask requirements, including who is exempted from wearing a mask. Proof of exemption is not required.
  • Make personal protective equipment (PPE) available for staff/volunteer use when needed, including gloves, surgical/medical masks, and eye protection (face shield/goggles).
  • Train staff/volunteers on the proper use of masks/face coverings and

8. Enhance Cleaning & Disinfection

  • Clean and disinfect washrooms as frequently as is necessary to maintain a sanitary condition.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces such as tables, railings and door handles twice daily or more often as needed.

9. Increase Ventilation

  • Ensure heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are properly maintained, and replace filters as appropriate.
  • Increase ventilation by opening windows and increasing air exchange settings on HVAC systems, if possible.
  • Arrange workstations, activities and furniture away from air vents and high airflow areas; direct fans upwards, away from people.

10. Promote Food Safety

Indoor dining is currently not permitted.

  • Vendors engaged in onsite food/beverage preparation in temporary establishments (e.g. tents/booths) at special events must comply with Reg. 493/17: Food Premises.
  • Review Guidance for Food Premises for more information.
  • Encourage guests to remain seated while eating and drinking.
  • Communicate with all attendees to keep their mask on when not actively eating or drinking.
  • Create a designated area away from guests for staff/volunteers to eat and drink.

11. Communicate with Staff, Volunteers & Guests

  • Share information with staff, volunteers, and guests in advance of the event about event/venue operations and expectations (e.g. public health measures, available amenities).
  • Discourage people from attending if they or someone in their household is symptomatic or unwell.

More information

For more information, visit our website at www.toronto.ca/COVID19 or call us at 416-338-7600.


Download this information as a PDF.

In the midst of a global pandemic there is still a need to grieve the loss of loved ones, and to support one another. With increasing cases of COVID-19, it is safer to consider a virtual service for friends and family and limit gatherings to your immediate household.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

Please adhere to the current public health orders. This summary checklist will assist you in planning for a safer event. Focus on safety rather than just meeting compliance. Consult with your funeral director and refer to the guidance for funeral homes & cemeteries for more information.

A. Stay informed

  • Seek guidance from a funeral director, if applicable.
  • Ask questions from service providers that you hire about their COVID-19 prevention protocols (e.g. florist, funeral home).
  • Check the City’s website for up to date information about COVID-19.

B. Capacity Limits

Religious services, ceremonies and rites are permitted with restrictions. Gathering limits are regulated by the provincial Reopening Ontario Act (ROA).

  • The Bereavement Authority of Ontario regulates licensed funeral establishment, cemetery, crematorium and alternative disposition operators, and may issue stricter limits for these establishments than the ROA. See COVID-19 Guidance for Cemeteries and Funeral Homes & Crematoriums for more information.
  • The gathering and capacity limits below are mandatory.
  • All individuals must be able to maintain at least two metres physical distancing from people they do not live with at all times.

Funeral service, rite or ceremony

Applies to services, rites and ceremonies held within a structure or building other than a private dwelling. See guidance for places of worship for more information.

  • Indoors: The number of persons occupying any room must not exceed 50 per cent of the capacity of the particular room.
  • Outdoors: Limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person.

Social gathering associated with a funeral service, rite or ceremony

  • Indoors: 5 people or less
  • Outdoors: 10 people or less
  • *If held in a meeting and event space, subject to applicable requirements. See guidance for events and gatherings for more information.

Limit attendance accordingly

  • Keep services short and limit in-person attendance.
  • Host services and/or receptions outdoors, if possible.
  • Include a virtual component to allow additional friends and family to participate.
  • Discourage people from gathering in large groups before and after the service.
  • Defer larger events until after the pandemic is over.

C. Connect virtually or outdoors to support the grieving process

  • Be creative with how to support each other. Consider a virtual, outdoor or drive-in service for family and friends.
  • Create a virtual memory book, blog, or webpage for family and friends to share memories, photos and messages of support.
  • Organize virtual events for prayer, spiritual readings, etc.
  • Consider deferring in-person receptions or celebrations of life to a later date.

D. Encourage physical distancing

  • All people must maintain at least a two metres physical distance from others they don’t live with.
  • Arrange seating two metres apart and by household.
  • Use floor markings to let guests know where to stand in the reception line.
  • Remind guests to wave or ‘hand-to-heart’ gesture instead of hugs, kisses and handshakes.

E. Communicate before the event

  • Communicate online using social media, newspaper obituary or the funeral home website.
  • Inform your guests about the public health measures in place to keep them safe.
  • Ask everyone to self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving.
  • Encourage guests to stay home if they are feeling unwell. Post instructions on how to access the virtual service so they can participate.
  • Encourage guests to download the COVID Alert app.
  • Encourage guests who are age 5 and older to get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Read and share information about the vaccine and where to get vaccinated, available in multiple languages.

F. Hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and face masks

  • Wash hands often, and have 70-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer by entrances and in high- traffic areas.
  • Avoid touching face with unwashed hands. Cough or sneeze into elbow or tissue.
  • A mask must be worn when indoors. Have extra masks for people who forgot to bring one.
  • For people who are unable to wear a mask, offer a virtual service to keep everyone safer.
  • If a guest becomes ill during the service/reception, ask them to go home and self-isolate.

G. Increase ventilation

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems should be properly maintained, and filters replaced as required.
  • Increase ventilation by increasing air exchange settings on the HVAC, or open windows/doors.
  • If using fans, direct the fans upwards, away from people.
  • Arrange furniture away from air vents and high airflow areas.

H. Modify services

  • Family or cultural traditions may need to be adapted to keep everyone safe.
  • Avoid close contact, and sharing of ceremonial objects.
  • Print out the agenda or music sheets so people do not have to share.
  • Avoid activities that require guests to gather or share items.

Music

  • Congregational singing is strongly discouraged, even with masks.
  • Vocalist or musicians must perform behind a barrier such as plexiglass or be separated from audiences by at least two metres.
  • Consider using pre-recorded music, virtual performances, or non-wind instruments.
  • Keep the volume low so guests do not need to speak louder, or lean closer to hear the conversation.

Food and Drink


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Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. This checklist will help guide the planning of your wedding to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

When planning your wedding, adhere to the current public health orders. Work with your wedding vendors and/or wedding planner to ensure that you are making informed decisions and avoiding risks. Family or cultural expectations may need to be relaxed to protect the safety of participants.

The aim and purpose of this document is to assist individuals with information related to the Ontario Government’s reopening framework as well as Toronto Public Health requirements to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know that breaches of some of these directions will constitute offences under provincial regulations or other public health legal requirements. While we aim to provide relevant and timely information, no guarantee can be given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. This guidance is not intended to nor does it provide legal advice and should not be relied upon or treated as legal advice. Users seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified legal professional.

A. Stay informed

B. Encourage or require vaccination

C. Conduct virtual or outdoor services

During the pandemic, there have been multiple COVID-19 outbreaks linked to weddings.

  • Consider ceremonies and celebrations that are virtual, outdoors and/or smaller.
  • Consider adding a virtual component to allow friends and family to participate. This may also benefit guests who cannot be there in person due to distance/ travel restrictions or are at higher risk for illness due to age and health conditions.

D. Capacity limits

Religious services, rites and ceremonies are permitted with restrictions. Gathering limits are regulated by the provincial Reopening Ontario Act (ROA).

Wedding service, rite or ceremony

Applies to religious services, rites and ceremonies held within a structure or building other than a private dwelling. See guidance for places of worship for more information.

  • Indoors: The number of persons occupying any room must not exceed 50 per cent of the capacity of the particular room.
  • Outdoors: Limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person.

Social gathering associated with a wedding service, rite or ceremony

  • Indoors: 5 people or less
  • Outdoors: 10 people or less
  • *If held in a meeting and event space, subject to applicable requirements. See guidance for events and gatherings for more information.

Limit attendance accordingly

  • Keep religious gatherings as short as possible, and limit the number of people in compliance with the provincial mandatory restrictions.
  • All individuals must be able to maintain at least two metres physical distancing from people they do not live with, with limited exceptions.
  • Speak to your service provider about choosing to require proof of vaccination for the wedding service, rite or ceremony. Capacity limits may be lifted, as described in the chart below.

E. Communicate with guests before the event

  • Use technology to keep guests informed, such as a wedding website or social media.
  • Inform your guests about the precautions you are taking to keep everyone safe.
  • Encourage guests age 5 and older to get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Read and share information about the vaccine and where to get vaccinated, available in multiple languages.
  • Ask attendees to bring their own mask and have extras if people forget to bring one.
  • Encourage guests to stay home if they are feeling unwell.
  • If hosting a virtual service, post instructions on how to access it online.

F. Encourage physical distancing

  • All people must maintain at least a two metres physical distance from others they don’t live with.
  • Space seating two metres apart and arrange by household, as required.
  • Post signs to encourage guests to stay two metres from others they don’t live with.
  • Use floor markings to let guests know where to stand in the reception line to stay safe.
  • Remind guests to refrain from hugging, kissing and shaking hands. See suggestions on how to greet each other from a distance.

G. Hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and face masks

  • Wash your hands often and have hand sanitizer available.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Cough or sneeze into elbow or tissue.
  • A mask must be worn at all times when indoors and when physical distancing is difficult outdoors. Avoid adjusting your face mask when in use.
  • The couple may remove their masks during the wedding ceremony.
  • Masks may be removed by performers while performing. Physical distance of at least two metres must be maintained between performer and spectators.
  • Children under two years of age, people with health issues that make wearing a mask difficult, and those who are unable to put on a mask without assistance are exempted from wearing a mask. Read more information on mask exemptions.

H. Increase ventilation

  • Increase ventilation by opening windows and increasing air exchange settings on HVAC systems, if possible.
  • Ensure HVAC systems are properly maintained, and replace filters as appropriate.
  • Arrange furniture away from air vents and high airflow areas; direct fans upwards, away from people.

I. Modify the wedding service and reception

  • Avoid close contact or sharing of ceremonial objects or personal items.
  • Create an online registration book for guests.
  • Consider individual hand sanitizer and personalized masks as party favours or gift bags.
  • Limit close group photos to people in the same household or have guests wear a mask, even when outdoors.
  • Avoid activities that allow guests to congregate or share items (e.g. photo booths).
  • Consider limiting alcohol service to prevent guests from relaxing physical distancing measures.

J. Food and drink

K. Singing, music and entertainment

Singing and musical wind instruments are higher risk activities.

  • No patrons are permitted to dance or sing, including by performing karaoke, within a rented meeting or event space.
  • Congregational singing is strongly discouraged, even with masks.
  • Consider alternatives to vocalists and wind instruments, such as other instruments, pre-recorded music, or virtual performances.
  • Live vocalist, musicians and performers must perform behind a barrier such as plexiglass or be at least two metres distance from spectators.
  • Keep the volume of music low so the officiant, guests and staff do not need to speak louder, or lean closer to hear the conversation.
  • Performers and officiant should have their own microphone. Do not share microphones.

L. Attendance list for contact tracing

  • Encourage your guests to download the COVID Alert app.
  • If a guest becomes ill during the service/reception, ask them to go home and self-isolate.
  • Keep an electronic list of your guests and staff in attendance. Information collected is voluntary, and can only be used by public health for COVID-19 contact tracing. The attendance list can be deleted after 30 days.

Download this information as a PDF.

During the COVID-19 pandemic there is a greater need for goods and services. One way to support individuals, families and the community is to donate money, or new and gently-used items to a charitable organization. Donations by credit card, gift card, cheque, or e-transfer allow organizations to purchase the goods they need, often at better prices. This way of giving is also safer for the donor, staff and volunteers.

Donating goods

  • Do not donate items if you or someone in your household is unwell.
  • Call or visit the organization’s website to find out what items they need or will accept.
  • Follow directions from the organization on how and where to make the donation.
  • If delivering the donation in-person, stay at least two metres from others and wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling donated items.

Donating clothes, electronics and other household items

  • Items which are new or gently used are generally preferred.
  • Check the donation items to make sure they are in good condition.
    • Clothing should be clean, without stains or rips, and all buttons and zippers should be working.
    • Electronic goods should be in working order.
    • Dishware should not have chips or cracks.
  • Personal care items such as soap, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products should be unused and in original/sealed packaging.

Donating toys

  • Toy drives typically ask for new toys in their original packaging (for infection prevention and control purposes).
  • Package new stuffed toys in a clean, clear plastic bag for easy handling.
  • Consider donating items for newborn babies.
  • Tween and teen items are also needed. Consider gift cards, books, board games, arts and craft kits, sporting goods, digital music players, electronics, backpacks, school supplies, makeup kits, hair dryer, curling irons, jewellery, hat, gloves and scarves.

Donating food items

  • Donate items that reduce the risk of food-borne illness, such as:
    • Non-perishable food items, as they can be kept for a long period of time.
    • Pre-packaged food such as cereal, rice or pasta, and canned goods.
  • Food products must be in their original/sealed packaging and in good condition. They should not be past the best-before or expiry date.
  • Homemade food items should not be permitted.

Organizing a donation drive

  • Clearly communicate the goal of your donation drive, including who the donations are for, the type of items you are looking for, and how they should be packaged for delivery or pick-up.
  • Donation drives and events must comply with current provincial gathering limits.

Staff/volunteer safety

The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is greater for certain groups of the population, including people who are: older adults; living with an underlying medical condition or a weakened immune system (e.g. due to a medical condition or treatment); living on a low income; under-housed or experiencing homelessness; or living in congregate settings such as retirement homes or rooming houses.

Organizations should consider the vulnerability of employees, volunteers, and clients when planning their donation drives.

  • Develop a workplace vaccination policy to encourage all staff and volunteers to get fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • Masks must be worn in indoor public places, and outdoors when physical distancing is difficult. Consider face shields or goggles if staff will be within two metres of others.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) before and after handling donations.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces, including surfaces which donated food had contact with (e.g., tables, shelving, bins).
  • If playing recorded music, keep the volume low to avoid having people talk louder.
  • Designate a specific space for food and drink breaks for staff and volunteers. When masks are temporarily removed to consume food or drink, individuals must be separated from every other person by a distance of at least two metres or an impermeable barrier.

Donation drop-off, pick-up or deliveries

  • Create a safe location outside for people to drop off donations. Do not use large, enclosed donation bins as there is a risk of people falling in.
  • Use contactless drop-off / delivery / pick-up methods, if possible.
  • If donations are picked up or delivered, only staff from the same household should ride in the same vehicle.
  • Contact clients in advance to schedule a delivery / pick-up time, when possible.
  • Prepare smaller bags or box donations for easier carrying and delivery.
  • Avoid entering people’s homes. Deliver and / or ask donors to leave the package at front door.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling donations.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect all touched surfaces.

Organizers should review the COVID-19 Guidance for Food Banks & Donation Centres for more information, and use this checklist to support planning the drive.

Customers purchasing or receiving donated goods

  • Wash your hands before and after handling items.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces which had contact with the donated items (e.g. countertops) after putting away items.
  • Wash vegetables and fruit under cold running water before cooking and/or eating them.
  • Wash ceramic, glass and other household items with soap and warm water.
  • Launder clothing/sheets/towels and other fabrics on high heat settings (wash and dry), if possible.
  • Wash reusable shopping bags.
  • Set aside items that cannot be cleaned or disinfected (e.g., for 24 to 72 hours).

There is little risk of getting COVID-19 from food or food packaging. In general, you can lower your risk of infection by following safe food handling practices.

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