Here is Ontario’s COVID-19 advice for the holiday season

The government has released a list of "safer" and "riskier" holiday activities

The Ontario government has released a list of “safer” and “riskier” holiday activities during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The safest way for any of us to enjoy the holidays, no matter where we live in the province, is to celebrate with our own households,” Premier Doug Ford said during a press briefing at Queen’s Park on Wednesday.

“If you live alone you can join one other household so you won’t be alone for the holidays.”

Public health officials are urging people not to host holiday parties or gatherings and recommend businesses to have virtual holiday parties.

Toronto and Peel Region will be in the grey lockdown zone of the Ontario COVID-19 warning system for the bulk of the holiday season – if not longer.

That means indoor gatherings are prohibited – except a gathering of people who live together or a household and one other person who lives alone – and outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people.

People who have moved away from home, such as students at colleges and universities, should consider self-quarantining for 10 to 14 days before returning home for the holidays, the government said.

People who live in red or lockdown zones are advised to stay home and only go our for essential reasons, such as work, school, groceries, pharmacy, health care, assisting vulnerable individuals or exercise.

Safer holiday activities

  • Virtual holiday gatherings or events with family, friends or co-workers;
  • Outdoor holiday activities such as building a snowman or going on a sleigh ride with members of your household;
  • Visiting Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus or their elves outdoors and taking photos while keeping two metres apart;
  • Attending a drive-in or drive-through event;
  • Watching holiday or other movies with your household;
  • Decorating your doors and putting up lights around your home;
  • Lighting your menorah;
  • Baking holiday treats with your immediate household;
  • Donating to your favourite holiday charity or toy drive.

Riskier holiday activities

  • In-person holiday gatherings or events, particularly gatherings where masks or face coverings must be removed to eat or drink;
  • 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 indoors and taking photos without being two metres apart. Children are not permitted to sit on Santa’s lap this year;
  • Visiting family and friends for non-essential reasons. Individuals and families in higher transmission areas should avoid going to lower transmission areas, except for essential reasons;
  • Hosting or attending social gatherings or organized public events that do not adhere to provincial or local requirements.


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