What You Need to Know
- The emergency order prohibits organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people.
- The emergency order was issued on March 28th by the Ontario Government under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, replacing a previous emergency order which prohibits organized public events of over 50 people.
Definition of “Organized Public Events”
Organized public events include:
- Events, including weddings
- Social gatherings
- Communal services within places of worship
Exceptions to Emergency Order Prohibiting Organized Public Events and Social Gatherings
There are limited exceptions to this emergency order, including the following circumstances:
- Private Households
This order would not apply to private households with five people or more.
- Operating child care centers supporting frontline health care workers and first responders
Provided that the number of persons at each center does not exceed 50 people.
Funerals would be permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time.
FUNERALS AND BEREAVEMENT SERVICES
Directive on Funeral and Bereavement Services
As a result of this Emergency Order, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario has issued a Registrar’s Directive on funerals and visitations. The directive states the following:
- Funerals, visitations, celebrations and any other gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer people.
- This number must be lower if the room can not allow people to maintain physical distancing of at least two metres (six feet) apart from each other at all times, to a maximum of 10 people in one room.
- Even if you have unlimited space, or are outside, the maximum is 10.
- The number does not include funeral staff.
- Note, that if you advertise a funeral, visitation or gathering in any medium, you must state this limitation (maximum of 10) or link to this directive.
- Follow this law strictly
This directive is pursuant to the Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
The Government of Ontario has deemed businesses providing funeral, mortician, cremation, transfer, and burial services, and any related goods and products to be essential services that are eligible to remain open.
Guidance from Government of Ontario on Handling of Bodies, Transportation etc.
The Government of Ontario has issued a guidance document (“COVID-19 Guidance: Funeral and Bereavement Services”) which provides specific guidance on matters including transportation of bodies, receiving/handling of bodies with COVID-19, storage of bodies, and more. This guidance document is available at the following link: