Province restricts private gatherings in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa

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Premier Doug Ford

Ontario is restricting the size of social gatherings in three regions – Toronto, Peel and Ottawa.

The three areas have seen a recent surge in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19. Premier Doug Ford says most of that has been related to large private gatherings.

The 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).

Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together. These are not accumulative and gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted.

“This crisis is far from over,” said Ford this afternoon during a press conference noting there have been two days this week with over 300 cases in one day.

“The public health trends in three regions in Ontario, they are concerning. As a province we have to help them, not just to stop the spread in other parts of Ontario, to keep them healthy.”

The new limits will not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres or banquet halls, gyms, and recreational sporting or performing art events. Existing rules, including public health and workplace safety measures, for these businesses and facilities continue to be in effect. 

The province has also implemented a $10,000 new fine for organizers of illegal social gatherings.

“We will throw the book at you if you will break the rules.”

Ford also announced the extension of a residential rent freeze until the end of December 2021. Commercial business evicitions are on hold until Oct. 31, 2021.