We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many students. Upcoming holiday gatherings can be an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. However, the safest way to celebrate or enjoy the holidays is with members of your immediate household. Your household is anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your accommodation. This can be family members, roommates or people who are unrelated to you.
If you plan on celebrating this holiday with people outside your immediate household, please check with the local public health authority to find out more about:
- Gathering size limits
- Event cancellations
Please note that the advice below should be considered with advice of local public health authorities, not as a replacement. When making you holiday plans, assess the current COVID-19 situation in your neighborhood. This will help you decide if you should postpone, cancel or change your plans.
When to stay home and away from others
Stay home and away from others if you or a member of your immediate household:
- have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are waiting for the results of a lab test for COVID-19
- have been in close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19
- are in quarantine or isolation
- feel sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild
- have returned from travel outside Canada within the past 14 days
- have returned from travel inside Canada to a province or territory that has quarantine requirements
Think about the risks
Check your personal risk level and the risk level of your immediate household. Consider whether the activities you’re planning to take part in are safe. If you’re planning on going out during the holidays or for a celebration, plan lower-risk activities.
No matter your level of risk, show kindness and respect to others by following public health measures. For everyone’s well being, help limit the spread of COVID-19 during holidays and celebrations.
Low-risk Level Settings and Activities
- indoor celebrations with members of your immediate household (watch holiday movies, bake holiday treats)
- charity food or gift drives where organizers take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of spread
- virtual holiday and religious celebrations
- drop-off or physically distanced doorstep gift exchanges
- outdoor celebrations in open spaces where people can consistently maintain at least 2-metres of physical distance
- Outdoor holiday activities such as building a snowman or going on a sleigh ride with members of your household.
- Visiting Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus or their elves outdoors and taking photos while keeping two metres apart.
High-risk Level Settings and Activities
In-person gatherings or celebrations with people outside your immediate household are higher-risk activities. If local in-person gatherings are allowed in your area, ensure proper safety measures are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
- close interactions with people outside your immediate household, particularly:
- in closed spaces with poor ventilation
- in crowded places where many people are gathered
- when in close-contact, such as close range conversations
- when singing, shouting or breathing heavily (for example, while dancing)
- gathering with people from different communities, particularly those from areas with high COVID-19 activity
- travelling to or from areas with high COVID-19 activity
- dining with members outside your immediate household
- having overnight guests or sleepovers with friends or people outside your household.