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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Small public gatherings

Getting together with friends and family is an important part of life. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our ability to safely gather with others. Many people have been forced to cancel or reschedule meaningful events, such as weddings, parties and family gatherings. These Q&As are designed to help people make informed decisions about planning or attending events.

I am planning to attend a wedding and a party. What precautions should I take to protect myself and others from getting infected with COVID-19?

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no “zero risk” when it comes to any kind of gathering – especially events that bring groups of people together. Regardless of the size of the event, you are at risk from COVID-19 whenever you get together with people. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily indoors, especially in poorly ventilated settings.  

If you don’t feel well or show any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home.

If you choose to attend a gathering, practice prevention measures, regardless of your COVID-19 vaccination status:  

  • keep at least a 1 metre distance from others;
  • wear a mask; 
  • avoid crowded or poorly ventilated areas; 
  • cover coughs and sneezes with bent elbow or tissues; and  
  • clean your hands frequently.  

These measures are a good idea to protect yourself and others, even when the event or venue doesn’t require you to practice them.  

I am organizing a gathering for family and friends. What steps can I take to make the event as safe as possible for my guests?

If you are unable to postpone your event, consider hosting it in a well-ventilated outdoor space. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily indoors, especially in poorly ventilated settings. Outdoor venues are safer than indoor spaces.

Make your event as safe as possible for guests. Keep it small and short. Encourage people to wear masks and ensure enough space for each guest to maintain at least a 1-metre distance from others. Help your guests follow COVID-19 prevention measures: provide masks, alcohol-based hand sanitizer or access to soap and water, tissues and bins with lids that close.

As always, follow guidance issued by local public health authorities before you plan a gathering. 

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