Skip to main content Skip to sitemap
Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
3 young adults outside wearing face masks and physically distancing

Social Gatherings and Physical Distancing

Ontario is now in Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen. For more information, read the media release issued by the province.

Residents of HPEPH are commended for their ongoing perseverance and efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to these efforts, many businesses and establishments are able to re-open, with restrictions in place. However, this is not a return to normal. In order to maintain our progress, all residents are asked to remain thoughtful about daily choices, as individual efforts can make huge impact to stop the spread of illness.

Please carefully consider decisions to gather with others. Always maintain physical distancing from those outside your household, and avoid travel between different regions of Ontario.

Social gathering limits

For more information on gathering limits, please refer to Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen.

Wondering who at your gathering will count towards the limit?

All guests and any hired staff are included in the count of individuals gathering at private settings. HPEPH considers any individuals on site at a private event (including photographers, caterers, etc.) as contributing towards the gathering limit.

The gathering limit intends to reduce risk of transmission by ensuring only small groups of people are gathered together at one time.

Please continue to practise physical distancing.

Physical distancing includes, but is not limited to:

  • Adhering to the provincial gathering limits.
  • Talking to your supervisor, manager, or employer about the possibility of working from home where possible.
  • Avoiding visits to long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, hospices and other congregate care settings unless the visit is absolutely essential.
  • Limiting non-essential trips in the community.
    • If you have to travel via taxi or ride-share, be sure to keep the windows down.
  • Hosting virtual meetings and social interactions instead of in-person events.

Please take steps to limit your close contacts.

  • Avoid crowded areas.
  • Wear a mask and/or face covering in all public spaces or where physical distancing is not possible.
  • Maintain a distance of two metres from those around you at all times.
  • Do not touch your face.
  • Wash your hands immediately and thoroughly upon return to your home or workplace. 

Remember: While you may not feel sick, and these measures are an inconvenience, please be mindful of the members of our community who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. We are all in this together.

Adapted with permission from Ottawa Public Health.


Interested in receiving monthly updates about HPEPH programs and services?

Sign up for our e-newsletter


Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 who have not yet had a first dose, or those who meet the minimum second dose interval are now eligible to attend HPEPH walk-in clinics. To view the schedule, visit the Booking and Eligibility Page.

If you attended a clinic and did not receive an email copy of your vaccination receipt you can download a copy off the provincial booking site at


Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 can also receive their vaccination at participating local pharmacies. Please visit for location and registration information.


On Friday, July 16 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario moved to Step 3  of the the Roadmap to Reopen. We must all continue to follow the public health measures, advice and restrictions. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people in Step 3, and distancing must be maintained. For more information, visit our COVID-19 page.


If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 10 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.