The Ontario government has amended order O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, to set a new limit on the permitted number of people to attend social gatherings and organized public events in the Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel Region public health unit areas that have higher rates of transmission of COVID-19. This includes functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs, or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks, and other recreational areas.
This amended order sets a new limit on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored social gathering or organized public event in three specific regions to:
- 10 people at an indoor event or gathering (previous limit of 50); or
- 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering (previous limit of 100).
Additionally, to increase compliance with public health guidelines, both within these three regions and across Ontario, amendments to the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act would, if passed, create:
- a new offence regarding hosting or organizing a gathering in residential premises or other prescribed premises that exceeds limits under an order
- a minimum fine of $10,000 for organizers of these gatherings
- authority for the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe additional types of premises for the purpose of the new offence
- authority for a police officer, special constable, or First Nations constable to order the temporary closure of a premise where there are reasonable grounds to believe that any gathering exceeding the number of people allowed is taking place and require individuals to leave the premises.