Finally, after months-long stay-at-home order, there is some ray of hope that things are going to bounce back. In more normal times, after 60 per cent of the eligible residents have taken their first COVID-19 vaccine doses, Ontario plans to reopen by gradually shedding limits on outdoor gatherings and meetings.
With such relaxation, organizing meetings and events would again be possible. Let’s see how the government plans to give shape to the foreseeable future and what would be allowed.
For the first reopening phase,
• Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people
• Patios with up to 4 people each table
• Outdoor religious ceremonies with capacity limits and 2-meter physical distancing
• Day camps
Further, in the second phase,
• Outdoor gatherings for up to 25 people, and indoor gatherings for up to 5 people
• Outdoor patios can have up to 6 people
• Outdoor meetings and event spaces allowed
Under phase three,
• Large indoor, outdoor gatherings and indoor dining
• Larger indoor religious services and ceremonies
• Indoor seated events, cultural amenities, and meeting and event spaces
Now that you have got some idea about the reopening structure, you can too think of organizing an event in Ontario during this “vaccinated” phase. You have a reason not to delay a marriage or an important religious ceremony anymore.
What points to take care of while planning an event as Ontario reopens post vaccination?
When planning an event in the new scenario where more than half of the population is vaccinated, you need to still be very cautious – the risk is not yet completely gone.
Check on the Protocols – At the very onset, your event planner should be up-to-date on all the local/state protocols to make sure that your event is “safe”.
Setting of the event – Where do you want to set your event? Outdoor events are a better choice as they offer better ventilation and pose less risk than indoor gatherings.
An extra tip – try modifying the layout or blocking off seats to keep the guests distant and help avoid transmission risk.
Number and Crowding of the people – After the first and second phases of reopening, even when larger gatherings are allowed, the size of the event should be determined based on whether the guests can manage to maintain proper physical distancing (i.e. 6-feet distance).
Length of the event – Avoid stretching your events for long. Shorter events are less riskier.
Promote Healthy Behaviour –
Try maintaining a 6-feet distance among the guests. Discourage your guests from making any kind of physical contact (like greeting via handshake, etc.). Remind them at the very beginning to maintain social distancing throughout their stay.
Mandate for the staff as well as the attendees to wear their masks correctly and consistently. Keep some spare masks on hand for those who might forget carrying one on their own.
Consider limiting the number of people occupying the restroom at one time.
Make sure the space is properly ventilated. Use open air tents instead of walled tents, if required.
– At least for the foreseeable future, we can expect that buffets are gone and there is no more queuing up for food. So, you need to have some intelligent catering at your event.
Make separate entry and exits. Limit the number of people at the serving stations. Maintain proper physical distancing. Use environment-friendly disposables for serving food.
– You should have a Cleaning Protocol in place.
Help the staff and attendees maintain proper hand hygiene frequently. Adequately stock hand sanitizers, soap, paper towels and no-touch trash cans.
Make sure that high-touch surfaces (like faucets, doorknobs, countertops etc.) are frequently cleaned and disinfected.
Also, have some system in place to deal with someone who gets sick during or after the event.
– During the first and second phases, when the number of guests shall be restricted, you should embrace technology to incorporate some sort of virtual component, allowing those who can’t come to join.
It’s better to continue to avoid large events and gatherings considering the level of risk still prevailing in the society. Hybrid meetings could be a great choice wherein guests can join in-person or virtually.
Post-lockdown events are definitely going to be different. Most people wouldn’t want to travel down for an event and would rather prefer joining virtually. So, until the traditional style gets common again, embrace technology and embrace the change. Evolve on your offerings and you can still host a fantabulous event for your guests.
Give us a chance to organize an event for you. We will take care of all the protocols and safety concerns for you.