Province tells people in Mississauga to only celebrate Christmas with members of their own household


If you were hoping that the province would give you its blessing to attempt a more traditional Christmas celebration this year, we come bearing poor tidings. 

At a Nov. 25 press conference, Ontario Premier Doug Ford urged residents in Ontario—and particularly those in lockdown regions such as Mississauga, Brampton, Toronto and Caledon—to celebrate Christmas with members of their own household only.

That said, public officials confirmed that people who live alone can join with one other household to celebrate the holidays this year. 

“I know there are many people looking forward to their traditional family celebrations at this time of year, but to keep your loved ones safe, traditions will have to be adjusted,” Ford said in a statement. 

“We’re asking everyone to please stick to your own household when celebrating. Avoid big holiday parties or large family dinners to help us stop the spread of this deadly virus. By following this public health advice, we can all have a safe and fun holiday season.”

The province provided this guideline: 

Safer Holiday Activities

  • Virtual holiday gatherings or events with family, friends or co-workers.
  • Outdoor holiday activities such as building a snowman or going on a sleigh ride with members of your household.
  • Visiting Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus or their elves outdoors and taking photos while keeping two metres apart.
  • Attending a drive-in or drive-through event.
  • Watching holiday or other movies with your household.
  • Decorating your doors and putting up lights around your home.
  • Lighting your menorah.
  • Baking holiday treats with your immediate household.

Riskier Holiday Activities

  • In-person holiday gatherings or events, particularly gatherings where masks or face coverings must be removed to eat or drink. 
  • Indoor holiday activities such as having overnight guests or sleepovers with friends or people outside your household.
  • Visiting Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus or their elves indoors and taking photos without being two metres apart. Children are not permitted to sit on Santa’s lap this year.
  • Visiting family and friends for non-essential reasons.
  • Individuals and families in higher transmission areas should avoid going to lower transmission areas, except for essential reasons.
  • Hosting or attending social gatherings or organized public events that do not adhere to provincial or local requirements. See below for information about the gathering limits that apply in the various zones.

The province said that individual public health units might choose to enact and enforce different rules around holiday celebrations. As of now, Mississauga is in the grey/lockdown zone, which means that people are not permitted to visit other people's homes or have people over to their homes for social reasons. It is not yet known if Peel Public Health will release its own holiday season recommendations. 

The province says a new holiday web page will be launched shortly to provide more direct and up-to-date guidance on how individuals and families can plan for a safe holiday season.

“We understand the traditional importance of visiting family and gathering during the holiday season, but as we are continuing to live in unprecedented times, we need to look at new ways of celebrating and marking special occasions,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams in a statement. 

“Everyone has a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and by strictly following these measures we can all plan for a healthy holiday season while keeping our loved ones safe.”

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