Ontario government announces further limits on gatherings

Five people or less allowed, with strict exemptions

TORONTO – The Ontario government announced tonight (March 28th) new restrictions on the size of gatherings.

Based on the advice of the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, public events and social gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.

The emergency order does not apply to private households with five people or more, and to operating child care centres supporting front line health care workers or first responders. Those child care centres cannot exceed 50 people. Funerals are allowed to proceed with up to 10 people in attendance at one time. Businesses declared essential are also exempt from the emergency order.

“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,” said Premier Doug Ford in a statement tonight. “I strongly encourage everyone to do the responsible thing and stay home unless absolutely necessary.”

Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott said that the government was acting on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health officials across Ontario.

“These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our people. Nothing is more important.”

The province announced there were 151 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,117 cases in Ontario. There are over 5,400 cases of the virus in Canada.

The order replaces the restriction on gatherings of over 50-people.

Organized public events include parades, events including weddings, social gatherings and communal services within places of worship. This order replaces a previous emergency order which prohibits organized public events of over 50 people.

The province has been under a State of Emergency since March 17th.

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