Moving Forward Step 1: FAQs
Why are multiple gatherings only permitted to be organized by businesses and organizations?
The requirement for multiple gatherings to be organized by businesses and organizations is to ensure that the organizers:
- Have experience organizing events with larger numbers of people;
- Have experience putting public health measures in place and ensuring they are followed;
- Are accountable to their business or organization; and
- Accept responsibility for ensuring the public health measures are followed.
The business or organization organizing a multiple gathering is responsible for ensuring public health measures identified in the operational plan are followed during the gathering, including having staff on site to communicate requirements to participants, monitor the gathering during the timeframe of the gathering, and respond to issues of non-compliance that may arise during the gathering.
What is considered a business or organization?
Some examples of businesses or organizations include:
- A hotel is a business that may organize events like fundraisers or weddings.
- A church or mosque is an organization that organizes faith gatherings of various types, as well as weddings and funerals.
- A theatre is a business or organization that organizes performances.
- A provincial sport organization is an organization that coordinates sport activities.
- A wedding planner is a business that organizes weddings.
- Community organizations, such as a watershed group or a Lions Club, are organizations that organize community events.
If a business or organization organizes a gathering, who is responsible if there is a violation of a Public Health Order at the organized gathering?
Many of the responsibilities for businesses or organizations related to Organized Gatherings are mandatory and are contained in the COVID-19 Prevention and Self-Isolation Order. If there is a violation of this public health order during an organized gathering, individuals and corporations involved with the violation may be liable on summary conviction in accordance with the Public Health Act [see sections 66 and 66.1].
During an organized gathering, the business or organization is responsible for:
- Communicating details of the operational plan to persons present at the organized gathering, including staff, participants, and volunteers, before and during the time of the organized gathering;
- Maintaining oversight of the organized gathering to ensure all persons in attendance comply with the requirements of the operational plan; and
- Maintaining an accurate and legible contact-tracing record.
Further questions regarding liability should be directed to a business’s legal counsel.
If a business or organization organizes an event, but hires a subcontractor to staff the event, who is responsible if there is a violation of a Public Health Order at the organized gathering?
The organizer (i.e. the business or organization who developed the operational plan and hired the subcontractors) of the organized gathering is responsible under the Public Health Order. Further questions regarding liability should be directed to a business’s legal counsel.
How many staff must be present at an organized gathering to meet the staffing requirement?
There is no strict guideline on the number of staff that must be present to meet the staffing requirement at an organized gathering. Businesses and organizations must determine how many staff are appropriate to ensure that public health measures are observed and maintained during the gathering. Staffing numbers may vary depending on the nature of the event, the overall number of attendees and cohorts, etc.
Where possible, enough staff should be present to ensure that multiple cohorts of 50 can be attended by dedicated staff. Staff can move between cohorts of 50 if necessary, with additional public health measures in place including non-medical masks, frequent hand washing, and maintaining physical distancing.
If I rent a venue as an individual for an event or am hosting an event in my backyard (e.g. wedding, birthday party, baby shower) but do all the work myself for the event, which gathering limit applies?
If you are not a business or organization, then the personal gathering limit or special occasion event limits apply, as follows:
- Personal gatherings of up to 20 people are permitted without an operational plan.
- For special occasion events (e.g. back-yard weddings, baby showers, etc.) individuals who are not a business or organization can organize up to 50 people under the following conditions:
- You must submit an operational plan to the Chief Public Health Office for review a minimum of 10 business days in advance of when you require feedback (official approval of the operational plan is not required);
- You recognize it is the responsibility of the organizer to ensure that appropriate health and safety protocols are in place and followed, including physical distancing being maintained between people from different households/groups of close contacts;
- If you foresee problems with putting into practice your operational plan, including keeping people physically distanced, you need to consider whether to go ahead with the event as originally planned/what modifications would be needed in order to ensure that measures are followed; and
- If the event does not comply with the public health orders, you are responsible if there is a violation of a Public Health Order at the gathering.
What qualifies as indoor? Is a tent an indoor or outdoor venue?
Any structure with more than one wall and a roof is considered indoor. A tent with three sides open is considered an outdoor venue.
There is no mention of dances and karaoke in the Moving Forward plan Steps 1 - 4, will these activities be permitted this summer?
At this time, there is no change in status for dances and karaoke. They are currently not permitted in association with organized gatherings.
Dancing within cohorts at weddings will be permitted in Step 3 of the Moving Forward plan, on July 18th.
Outside of weddings, dancing and karaoke are anticipated to be permitted once 80% of PEI residents are fully vaccinated.
Will we be able to have our wedding this summer?
Yes, weddings can be held this summer. Effective June 6, weddings organized by a business or organization can be held with up to 150 people, in cohorts of 50. Weddings may be held on personal property.
Individuals who are not a business or organization can organize up to 50 people for special occasion events (for example, back-yard weddings, baby showers, retirement gatherings, etc.) with an operational plan that has been submitted to and reviewed by the Chief Public Health Office.
Public health measures must be in place.
Is dancing allowed at a wedding?
Dance floors at weddings are not permitted in general, with some limited exceptions such as a couple’s first dance and traditional parent-child dances.
Do I still have to wear a mask when indoors in public?
Yes, non-medical masks must be worn when indoors in a public space, as per the Wearing Non-Medical Masks in the Community guidance.
Is the personal gathering limit a maximum of 20 people, or a household plus 20 people?
The personal gathering limit is a maximum of 20 people, regardless of the number of people in the household. A household with five people, for example, could have a personal gathering with 15 additional family and friends.
Can I have a wedding or other organized gathering on my personal property?
Yes, effective June 6th organized gatherings on personal property are permitted, following measures for businesses and organization, and special occasion events organized by individuals.
In all cases, public health measures must be in place.
If, as an individual, I plan a special occasion event with 50 people or fewer, does my operational plan have to be approved by the Chief Public Health Office before holding the event?
You have to submit an operational plan to the CPHO for review a minimum of 10 business days in advance of when you require feedback. No approvals are issued from the CPHO for gatherings that involve 50 people or fewer. The organizer of the event remains responsible for ensuring public health measures are in place and are followed.
Do I need an operational plan if I have a personal gathering of 20 or fewer people?
No, operational plans are not necessary for personal gatherings of 20 or fewer people. Public health measures should still be followed during personal gatherings and people who are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend. People who are self-isolating may not attend or host any sort of gathering.
Are fireworks permitted?
Are parades permitted?
Traditional parades are prohibited (not allowed) in Step 1 of the Moving Forward plan. ‘Reverse’ parades, where spectators drive-by stationary parade floats, are permitted with an operational plan in place that has been submitted to the Chief Public Health Office for review.