COVID-19: Safety advice for private indoor gatherings

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Moving indoors

Fall and winter events are often hosted inside, which can be unsafe during a pandemic. Do what you can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by:

Assess your risks prior to attending a planned activity and adjust your plans to make it safer for all.

Consult your local public health authority for information about:

Considerations for hosting

Host your event virtually if you can. This is the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19. Hosting an event at home is considered higher risk if you live:

If you want to host an event, you must reduce the risk for yourself, your household and your guests.


If you must host an in-person event, you should consider holding it outside to keep you and your guests safe. Communicate public health measures to your guests and make sure that they’re followed. This includes physical distancing, hand hygiene and the wearing of non-medical masks or face coverings.

Additionally, make sure to follow provincial and territorial gathering limits and restrictions by checking with your local public health authority.

Make sure that your venue has:

You should also plan seating before guests arrive to keep people in their small, consistent and trusted contact bubble as much as possible.

Guest health

You could still spread COVID-19 at your event, even if you know the guests who are outside your:

If someone gets sick at or after your event, you’ll have to contact your guests to let them know. This way everyone who was exposed to the disease can get tested.

When you invite guests to an event, make a note of:

To keep yourself and guests safe, before the event starts, ask them if they can do a self-assessment test. This will verify if they:

If your guests feel ill or are experiencing even mild symptoms, tell them not to attend your event.

You should also ask your guests to wear a non-medical mask or face covering, and provide some for guests who don’t have one. Promote physical distancing, especially when masks are removed for eating or drinking. Ask guests to avoid physical greetings and contact.

COVID-19 can spread through the droplets we expel when breathing, talking, sneezing, coughing, singing and yelling. Because of this, consider turning event music off or down. This way guests don’t have to speak loudly to be heard.


COVID-19 is commonly found on surfaces that people touch with their hands. During your event, regularly clean and disinfect surfaces like:

Limit the number of people preparing, handling and serving food at your event, and provide them with masks. If your event has a buffet, do not let guests:

Assign someone to serve guests from the buffet and hand them their plates and utensils instead.

Have a plan for sick guests

Plan in advance how you’ll safely care for people who develop COVID-19 symptoms while at your event. Consult with your public health authority and follow your jurisdiction’s COVID-19 reporting requirements.

Consider important issues, such as:

Plans should address situations where a private vehicle or walking home isn’t an option. After someone who’s ill has left the event, clean and disinfect:

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