Stage 3 gathering limits at funerals & visitations
and serving food & beverages
Effective Friday, July 31, the City of Toronto and Peel Region enter Stage 3 of Ontario’s re-opening plan subject to the following attendance limits:
• Indoor funeral services, visitations and receptions are limited to 30 per cent of the capacity of the room, while maintaining two-metre physical distancing between attendees. This applies to people gathering indoors for religious services, rites or ceremonies, and wedding ceremonies or funeral services, as introduced by the Government of Ontario in Stage 2.
• Outdoor funeral services, visitations and receptions, including graveside services, are limited to a maximum of 100 attendees. Funeral Directors must have sufficient numbers of staff present to ensure physical distancing is maintained. Cemeteries are permitted to restrict attendance numbers to less than the maximum. (Funeral professionals should confirm these restrictions in advance of services.)
Serving food and beverages
If permitted by your local health unit, funeral services may provide food and beverages pursuant to the rules and guidelines established in your community.
If permitted by your local health unit, you could consider the following ideas:
• Offering individually packaged snacks or food
• Provide individually boxed-meals (particularly helpful for visitations that occur during dinner hours)
• Having an outdoor patio-dining area
• Having staff serve food and beverages to guests
Generally, health units typically require seated dining with distancing between households/social circles, and no buffet-style service.
Again, these are just ideas. You need to ensure compliance with your local health authority.
Mask or face covering
As per the Registrar’s Directive, effective July 8: Wearing a mask or face covering remains mandatory for all persons (funeral staff and attendees) inside all funeral establishments or any other indoor setting where a funeral or visitation is held in the following public health jurisdictions:
Region of Waterloo
Wearing a mask or face covering is strongly advised at all funerals or visitations in all jurisdictions.
The BAO reminds you:
• That some municipalities and local medical officers of health have issued further measures mandating the use of masks or face coverings in some settings. Refer to local municipal or public health unit webpages for more information.
• To adhere to municipal and health unit restrictions, in addition to those put in place by the Government of Ontario.
-Carey Smith, CEO/Registrar