Ontario children should wear a mask when taking photos with Santa this year and should try to visit him outdoors or virtually if possible.
That’s a section of Ontario’s medical director’s new guide, shared Thursday as residents prepare for the second December pandemic vacation.
COVID-19 vaccines have changed the situation this year and the guide says that fully vaccinated groups of people do not need to wear masks to Christmas gatherings indoors if everyone is comfortable.
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However, it is recommended that people wear masks and physically distance themselves from others if they meet people from various households who are not vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or their vaccination status is unknown.
Hosts are advised to keep meetings indoors within the provincial limit of 25 people, keep windows open, and ask people not to attend if they have symptoms.
It is also recommended that hosts maintain a guest list in case it is necessary to track contacts, and organize outdoor events if possible.
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Those attending organized public events, such as parades or lighting ceremonies, should try to avoid crowds and keep their distance.
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The guide says that people who perform in parades must be fully vaccinated and wear masks if they cannot physically distance themselves.
Workplaces hosting end-of-the-year parties are encouraged to choose locations with enough space for physical distancing.
For those traveling now that travel rules have been relaxed, the province recommends that people be fully vaccinated before doing so.
People who spend the night in different homes should sleep in separate rooms if some are not vaccinated and it is also recommended to have a plan on what to do if someone gets sick during the visit.
© 2021 The Canadian Press