Knowledge Base

How does the provincial health authority requirement of no gatherings of more than 50 people apply in a manufacturing plant or other business?

As of March 31, 2020, Public Health clarified that the PHO's Mass Gathering order refers to events where more than 50 people are in close contact. It does not apply to a worksite unless a mass gathering is being held onsite. 

Employers should consider the work area, configuration, work processes and flow, and movement of workers in determining whether they have exceeded 50 workers in a "gathering". Large workplaces, including warehouses, might have enough space to accommodate this.

Workplaces can implement measures to ensure that the appropriate number of people are in each area of a worksite:

  • Reduce in-person meetings
  • Post occupancy limits
  • Manage numbers on elevators
  • Limit the number of workers at one time on break locations
  • Maintain an up-to-date list of employees at the workplace

Examples of acceptable physical distancing that does not constitute a gathering include:

  • Workers dispersed across different floors or in different areas on a manufacturing plant separated by walls or other barriers (e.g. plexiglass divider).
  • Workers in a single area who are able to maintain two metres of separation would not be considered part of a gathering.
  • Safety meetings, general meetings, and toolbox talks held in smaller groups in larger areas