COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets, so it is important to do what you can to reduce risk. Before participating in an activity, think about how you might be accidentally spreading COVID-19 to your friends or family members.
Going out safely during COVID-19
Remember: just because you might not get seriously ill, someone close to you or someone you love might not be able to recover as quickly from COVID-19 or at all. Consider others when you're planning your activities.
Consider These Factors Before Participating in an Activity
||No risk factors
||Chronic medical conditions
Obesity (BMI 40+)
|About your behaviour
||Wearing a mask
||Not wearing a mask
||You have not travelled outside your home community in the last week
||You have travelled outside your home community in the last week
||Visiting very few (1 to 3) locations outside your home each week.
||Visiting many locations (4+) outside your home each week.
|Spacing out the days between visits to different locations
||Visiting multiple locations outside your home within a few days
|About your location
||Where you are
||Fresh air is being brought in (e.g. open window)
||Air is being re-circulated
|The noise level
||People are shouting or speaking at high volume
|About the other people there
||Who you meet
||Only people in your household
||People outside your household
|The same people each time
||Different people each time
|How many people you meet
||Fewer than 5
||More than 5
|How crowded it is
||Staying 2 metres apart is easy
||Staying 2 metres apart is difficult or impossible
||Wearing a mask
||Not wearing a mask
|About your activity
||How long are you in a place with other people
||Short amount of time (less than 15 minutes)
||Long amount of time (the longer you are there, the greater the risk)
|How often you go
||Once a week
||More than once a week
||Not sharing food, drink, or smoking or vaping with people outside your household
||Sharing food, drink, or smoking or vaping with people outside your household
||Not touching people outside your household
||Touching people outside your household
|How heavy you breathe
||Exercising, shouting, singing, or laughing
|Shared objects or surfaces (e.g. door handles, railing, touch pads)
||Shared objects or surfaces are cleaned and disinfected frequently, people wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after touching them
||Shared objects or surfaces are not cleaned and disinfected frequently, people do not wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after touching them
Follow public health orders, and avoid activities that fall mostly in the "riskier" column. Why we ask you to follow public health orders.
When in doubt about what rules to follow, use the safest rules that might apply to keep your risk low:
- Stay at home when you can.
- Limit the number of people you meet in person.
- Keep 2 metres physical distance from others.
- Wear a mask and do not participate in activities that would require you to take off your mask.
- The virus can infect anyone and does not always cause obvious symptoms. Don't "relax the rules" for anyone outside your household, even if they are family members, friends, or co-workers.
Things you can do to keep yourself and others safe:
Wearing a mask is one of the best ways to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
- Carry a mask with you when you are outside your household. If you are in a situation where you cannot maintain a 2 metre distance, wear it. You cannot always predict when you will find yourself in a crowd where you cannot maintain a 2 metre distance from others.
- It is the law to wear a mask in any indoor environment that is not your own home (with limited exceptions). If you are in your home with people from outside your household, wear a mask whenever possible.
- Wear a mask in any outdoor environment where you cannot maintain a 2 metre distance from others.
- Avoid sharing food, drinks, or other items that touch your face (e.g. cigarettes, vapes) with people outside your household. These are common ways to spread COVID-19.
- Avoid doing activities with people from outside your household if you need to remove your mask.
- Avoid standing or sitting close to people outside your household. The closer together you are, and the more time you spend within 2 metres of others, the higher the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, especially when you are indoors. Stay 2 metres apart at all times.
You cannot identify someone who is infectious with COVID-19 without a test result. People with COVID-19 can be infectious two or three days before they start to show symptoms. Many people with COVID-19 will never show symptoms and some have only mild symptoms.
- Be kind and courteous to others: maintain 2 metres physical distance and wear a mask in case you are infectious and do not know it.
- People you know well might be infectious and not know it. COVID-19 transmission often happens when people "relax the rules" for friends and family, especially in indoor settings.
- Keep track of your contacts. You can do this by tracking people and places you visit in person on a calendar; by holding onto receipts from any businesses you visit; or making a simple list of places you go and people you interact with. Contact tracers will be grateful for your help!
Download the federal government's COVID Alert App.
How to stay safe when you gather with others:
- If you are gathering or doing activities outdoors, keep in mind that indoor rules apply to facilities like restrooms, warming huts, and dressing rooms.
- Wear a mask if you cannot maintain 2 metres physical distance from other people.
- At this time, outdoor groups in private settings are limited to a maximum of 10 people.
- Private, indoor gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer people (including household members and members of up to two additional households) – these should be the same people every time
In shared living settings (e.g. apartments, condos, and retirement residences), rules for indoor private gatherings apply to shared spaces (e.g. lobbies, recreation rooms, lounges, and laundry rooms):
- Residents should wear a mask and maintain 2 metre physical distance between households.
- Residents should limit their use of shared spaces and take additional precautions, like washing their hands and using hand sanitizer before and after touching surfaces, and cleaning and disinfection before and after using the space (Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Guidelines).
- We recommend that supplies like soap and paper towels at sinks, Health Canada-approved hand sanitizers and surface disinfectants, and waste baskets be provided in shared spaces.
- Visitors and non-essential volunteers should be limited or avoided in shared spaces.
What is a household? A household is a group of people who usually live together in the same home, whether it is an apartment, condo unit, or house.