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Newbie August 2021 Ontario

Stage 2 Reception Rules?

Meghan, on June 24, 2021 at 20:18 Posted in Ontario 0 23
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There seem to be clear guidelines for ceremonies in the 3 step opening plan, but I don't see anything about receptions for Stage 2. My venue says the 25% capacity applies to both the ceremony and reception hall, but I can't seem to find anything to confirm that. Anyone have any insight? Wedding is set for Aug 13 in Waterloo aregion - here's hoping we can make it to stgae 3 by then!

23 Comments

Latest activity by Caroline, on July 8, 2021 at 14:38
  • Caroline
    Newbie August 2021 Ontario
    Caroline ·
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    That's amazing that you were able to get that confirmation from so high up!!! I'm going to tell them your story and that the Chief Medical Officer signed off and hope they change their minds Smiley smile

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  • Kristy
    Newbie July 2021 Ontario
    Kristy ·
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    I'm so sorry you are going through the same thing. Last Monday the Hastings Public Health had a meeting with the Chief Medical Officer of Ontario and received confirmation that Venues fall under Event spaces and therefore I am allowed to have 25% wedding reception outdoors. It was a crazy stressful process and only was able to find alive 10 days before my wedding. Hopefully your Regional unit will recede and follow what the Chief Medical Officer even agrees with. Its only private backyard weddings limited to 25 people. Wish you all the best on your wedding planning during these crazy times!
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  • Caroline
    Newbie August 2021 Ontario
    Caroline ·
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    I'm going through the same thing! I have the Toronto Public health unit telling me that it's 25% capacity for receptions at outdoor event spaces, and the Muskoka Region telling me it's limited to an outdoor gathering (25 people) no matter where it is... I called the Stop the Spread hotline (1-888-444-3659). It is a provincial hotline and they agreed that a reception at an outdoor event space should follow the 25% capacity rules... But I still need to convince the regional unit somehow. Basically no one is following the same rules, making it really difficult for anyone to plan or have a reception.

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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    To be fair, a local public health unit can impose further restrictions than what the province outlines. So if your three public health units are choosing to enforce all weddings in the same vein as private gathering numbers, nothing the province says can reverse that.
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  • ASH
    Newbie August 2021 Ontario
    ASH ·
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    I have been corrected, thank you Hank!

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  • Kristy
    Newbie July 2021 Ontario
    Kristy ·
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    Thank you! I spoke with THREE public health officials of Hastings County (prince edward county) and all are still enforcing a wedding reception the same as a gathering. I now have the MPP and the top local public health officer in a email chain awaiting what their final ruling is on Monday.


    Section 4.4 even states as long as all rules are followed we can rent a business for any outdoor meeting or event space.https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/r21488?utm_campaign=%2Fen%2Frelease%2F1000399%2Fontario-moving-to-step-two-of-roadmap-to-reopen-on-june-30&utm_source=newsroom&utm_term=public&utm_medium=email

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  • MaddieJ
    Curious July 2021 Ontario
    MaddieJ ·
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    This is incorrect. See link here: https://www.ontarioweddingassociation.com/images/Provincial%20Documents/Roadmap-to-Reopen---Step-2.pdf

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  • MaddieJ
    Curious July 2021 Ontario
    MaddieJ ·
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    You are absolutely correct. At a venue, its 25% outdoor capacity, guaranteed Smiley smile

    Whoever still has any doubts about Step 2, here is the plan: https://www.ontarioweddingassociation.com/images/Provincial%20Documents/Roadmap-to-Reopen---Step-2.pdf

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  • Tunisha
    Featured October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
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    Oh my goodness, that’s really sad. The extent that people are taking just to make sure they are able to have their big day to not be defined by Covid or the stages that were are waiting upon to determine our day. I can’t even imagine the pain that some people going through postponing 3 or more times for their bit wedding day.

    I believe that they could have been mindful of a wedding and the importance of it for people taking into consideration the social distancing.

    I still find it ridiculous! They are also trying to state the vaccinia percentage of reopening, as if the vaccine even helps. Another story for another day…
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Actually, depending on the type of event spaces, they are allowed to have a reception in an outdoor area. If you're just a conference room with nothing but a board table, then yeah I can see how that's not allowed. But if you're a hotel with an in-house kitchen, a winery, a country club that serves food and beverage and you have an outdoor area that can be used for people to sit and eat, the outdoor restaurant rules apply. And most banquet halls have a food handling license and a liquor license, which technically makes them a restaurant.

    Specially, section 4.4 of the Step 2 law states:

    The person responsible for a business or place that is open may rent out outdoor meeting or event space for a purpose other than a purpose listed in subsection (1) if the business or place complies with the following conditions:

    1. The total number of members of the public permitted to be in the rentable meeting or event space at any one time must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the rentable meeting or event space, and in any event must not exceed 25 per cent capacity, as determined in accordance with subsection 3 (3) of Schedule 1.

    2. The person responsible for the business or place must post a sign in a conspicuous location visible to the public that states the capacity limits under which the establishment is permitted to operate.

    3. No more than six people may be seated together at any table in the rented space.

    4. Patrons must remain seated at all times in the rented space, except,

    i. while entering the area and while moving to their table,

    ii. while exiting the area,

    iii. while going to or returning from a washroom,

    iv. while singing or performing music,

    v. while lining up to do anything described in subparagraphs i to iv, or

    vi. where necessary for the purposes of health and safety.

    5. The rented space must be configured so that patrons seated at different tables are separated by,

    i. a distance of at least two metres, or

    ii. plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.

    6. The person responsible for the business or place shall,

    i. record the name and contact information of every member of the public who attends a meeting or event;

    ii. maintain the records for a period of at least one month; and

    iii. only disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request for a purpose specified in section 2 of that Act or as otherwise required by law.

    7. The person responsible for the business or place must actively screen individuals in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the indoor premises of the business or place.

    8. No patron may be permitted to enter the indoor premises of the business or place, except,

    i. to access a washroom,

    ii. to access an outdoor area that can only be accessed through an indoor route, or

    iii. as may be necessary for the purposes of health and safety.

    9. No patrons are permitted to dance within the rented space.

    So you can't dance but nothing states you cannot eat as long as you follow the rules above.

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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Basically anything that is not specifically for the sake of making you a legally married couple is considered a reception. It's hilarious (and sad at the same time) to see people try to skirt their way around it. One example I saw online was someone trying to host a cocktail five hour, with the rationale being "they're not sitting down to eat, it's not a reception!" Another is to hold a group prayer and claim their religion demands that they eat while they pray.

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  • ASH
    Newbie August 2021 Ontario
    ASH ·
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    You MPP would be incorrect. Event Spaces can only be used as followed in Step 2.


    Meeting or event space

    4. (1) The person responsible for a business or place that is open may only rent out meeting or event space if the meeting or event space is only rented out,

    (a) for a day camp or overnight camp for children described in section 21 of Schedule 2;

    (b) to a provider of child care within the meaning of the ;

    (c) for the purpose of the provision of social services;

    (d) for the purpose of collective bargaining, so long as no more than 10 people are permitted to occupy the rented space;

    (e) for the purpose of delivering or supporting the delivery of court services;

    (f) for operations by or on behalf of a government;

    (g) for the purpose of delivering or supporting the delivery of government services;

    (h) for the purpose of delivering or supporting mental health support services or addictions support services, so long as no more than 10 people are permitted to occupy the rented space; or

    (i) for the purpose of conducting in-person examinations for the registration, licensing or accreditation of persons in any of the fields or occupations described in subsection 2 (2) of Schedule 8 to Ontario Regulation 82/20, made under the Act, so long as no more than 50 students are permitted to occupy the rented space.

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  • Tunisha
    Featured October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
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    Oh yes, it’s very confusing. I’m not too sure what they are trying to get out of it with all these wordings and confusion. I’m sorry that you’re going through this, I can’t imagine the amount of stress this is causing you. I am sending positive vibes and wishing you all the best for your day.
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  • Kristy
    Newbie July 2021 Ontario
    Kristy ·
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    I think the confusion is the difference between a wedding Venue versus a Wedding being held on private property/backyard. Right below the wedding restrictions it states,


    Stage 2 Reception Rules? 1
    My local MPP told me because my Wedding is being held at a Venue I would be allowed 25% of the outdoor capacity for a reception as it falls under an "Event space". Also helps the government website changed the rules from stating Wedding Ceremonies to Wedding Services!
    It is very frustrating when trying to get clarification from piblic health but they will not answer their phones or reply back to inquires quickly.
    Wedding is July 9th.... 2 weeks away and still unable to finalize details is terrifying.
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  • ASH
    Newbie August 2021 Ontario
    ASH ·
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    What Hank said earlier is correct, they were very clear in the Step 2 to point out the example of Wedding Receptions

    "1(c) a social gathering associated with a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite or ceremony of more than,

    (i) 5 people if the gathering is held indoors, or

    (ii) 25 people if the gathering is held outdoors.

    (2) For greater certainty, the limits in clause (1) (c) apply to a social gathering associated with a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite or ceremony, such as a wedding reception, while the limits that apply to the wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony itself are set out in sections 4 to 6."

    That being said... this is where it gets weird.....restaurants are allowed to open outdoor dining for 6 per table, physically distanced, no dancing. So if your venue is also a restaurant that has outdoor dining, then as long its staffed by the venue one could presume they can accommodate a dinner reception under this clause.

    SCHEDULE 2
    SPECIFIC RULES

    Food and drink

    Restaurants, bars, etc.

    1. (1) Restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other food or drink establishments may open if they comply with the following conditions:

    1. No indoor dining may be provided.

    2. No buffet-style service may be provided.

    3. Patrons must be seated at all times in any area of the establishment in which food or drink is permitted except,

    i. while entering the area and while moving to their table,

    ii. while placing or picking up an order,

    iii. while paying for an order,

    iv. while exiting the area,

    v. while going to or returning from a washroom,

    vi. while singing or performing music,

    vii. while lining up to do anything described in subparagraphs i to vi, or

    viii. where necessary for the purposes of health and safety.

    .....

    9. The total number of patrons permitted to be seated outdoors at the establishment must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person at the establishment.

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  • Tunisha
    Featured October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
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    This is where it gets tricky.
    What does your venue say? Because they are the ones to follow the rules while this can be very confusing for us while we read what’s put out to us.
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  • M
    Newbie August 2021 Ontario
    Meghan ·
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    Thank you! This is what I thought but my venue said otherwise.
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Receptions do not go under wedding services. A ceremony falls under religious gatherings, which would be 25% of the room indoors or as many that you can fit with 2m social distancing outdoors.

    In Step 2, a reception would be 5 people max indoors at your house, 25 max outdoors at your house, and 25% of the space outdoors at a hall. You cannot have indoor receptions in a hall during Step 2.

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  • Tunisha
    Featured October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
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    It states wedding services, so I believe that includes both ceremony and reception. Also, I believe checking with your venue or vendor would be able to clarify their process as well. You’re welcome! 🙏🏾🙂 Good luck and all the best! 🥂
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  • M
    Newbie August 2021 Ontario
    Meghan ·
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    Thank you! Is that for ceremonies only though or is that receptions also?
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  • Tunisha
    Featured October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
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    Oh yes, I’m hoping that you’ll get to stage 3 by then, however, I believe there is a 21 days (3 weeks) between going to another region.


    That being said, if Waterloo region is still in stage 2, it would be…

    • Larger indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services at 25% capacity

    So the 25% depends upon what the venue holds. Should they hold 100, their would be 25 people at the wedding, including vendors I believe.
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  • M
    Newbie August 2021 Ontario
    Meghan ·
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    Yes thats right! My wedding isn't until August so I'm still hopeful it will be stage 3 but I just need clarity on what it will look like if we are still stuck in stage 2.
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  • Tunisha
    Featured October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
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    Hello Meghan 👋🏾
    Sorry that you’re going through this while your wedding is approaching soon. For Waterloo region they are not planning to go into step 2 until mid-July?
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