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Small outdoor gatherings, indoor retail, and other businesses allowed under new health directive

People celebrating special occasions outside and hiring in-home services should follow safety guidelines. Reopening businesses must have safety requirements in place.

New health directives allow for more businesses and services to operate, for Phase 2b reopening. People can also have small outdoor gatherings, following safety guidelines.

All of these businesses must have a Social Distancing Protocol and many must have a Health and Safety Plan for operating during the coronavirus pandemic. Both plans must be in place before the business can reopen. See all guidelines for operating a business during the coronavirus pandemic.

Follow safety guidelines if you have small outdoor gatherings 

The best way to not get yourself or others sick is to stay home. The more you go out, the more you expose yourself and others to COVID-19. But seeing friends can be important for your mental health. If you do meet with others, you can reduce your risk for getting or spreading COVID-19. See general guidance about safer social interactions during the pandemic. 

You can celebrate a special occasion outside with a small group. Plan your event to be 2 hours or less. 

People from different households may come together in a group totaling no more than 6 people to eat or drink. Staying 6 feet apart is not required, but you should try to as much as you can. Have people bring their own food and drink. 

If there will be no food or drink, up to 12 people can gather.

See details about having safer outdoor gatherings during the pandemic.

In-home services can reopen, with physical distancing

Housekeepers, chefs, and other services provided inside people’s homes can work. You cannot hire people to come to your home if they cannot stay 6 feet away, like hairstylists or massage therapists.

See details about having in-home services during the pandemic.

Outdoor fitness classes can reopen 

Up to 12 adults, including instructors, can be in the class.  Everyone must wear face coverings and stay 6 feet apart. The classes should not involve any contact sports, contact between people, or shared equipment. Allowed classes can be:

  • Bootcamps
  • Solo dancing
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi

See guidance about having outdoor fitness classes.

Fitness classes for children under 18 should operate as a summer camp. See information about operating a summer camp.

Retail storefronts can open, with physical distancing

Indoor shopping is allowed, if the store limits the number of people inside. Staff and shoppers must be able to keep 6 feet from others at all times. Stores can operate at no more than 50% of normal maximum occupancy. If there is not enough space for that, only the number of people who can maintain 6 feet from each other are allowed inside. 

Stores must provide face coverings for the public and everyone who works for them. 

Clothing should be cleaned every time a customer tries it on. If a customer brought their own bag, they should bag their own items.

Stores in an indoor mall can only open if the mall has a separate safety plan approved by the Health Officer.

Offices can reopen for employees who cannot work from home

Business offices can open for employees who are needed to keep the business running, and cannot work from home. This includes coworking spaces.

Everyone in the office must wear a face covering, and be able to keep 6 feet apart at all times. Offices must adjust their maximum occupancies to account for physical distancing.

Offices with 20 or more staff can operate at no more than 20% of normal maximum occupancy. If that number of staff cannot fit safely, only the amount of people who can maintain 6 feet of distance from each other may return.  

Entertainment venues can live-stream events without an audience

Venues must still be closed to the public. Up to 12 staff can be inside to live-stream, unless a separate safety plan is approved by the Health Officer. Singers and wind or brass players must be in separate spaces.

Official directives for reopening businesses

See general guidance about operating a business during the coronavirus pandemic.