The province has put more restrictions on social gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Effective immediately, the Government of Ontario has issued an emergency order to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people. This is based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams.

This replaces the previous emergency order which forbade events of more than 50 people, with a possible penalty of $750 or more.

Premier Doug Ford said, “If we are going to stop the spread of COVID-19 now and keep our communities safe, we need to take extraordinary measures to ensure physical distancing.” Ford added that, “…[the province] will do everything in our power to stop this virus in its tracks.”

Note that this doesn’t apply if your household has more than five people. It also deosn’t apply to the childcare centres that remain open to care for the kids of first responders and frontline health care workers. Finally, it does not apply to first responders as long as the unit itself doesn’t exceed 50 people. The final exception is funerals, which are allowed with up to 10 people in at one time.

Christine Elliott, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Health says, “These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our people.”

She added, “Nothing is more important.”

Feature image – the Province of Ontario