New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador have both adopted the bubbling model for social gatherings as part of their reopening plans, and Ontario's doing something similar.
The bubbling model allows two households to interact and socialize, separate from the limit on social gatherings.
Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, updated public health advice to come into effect immediately province-wide to allow social circles of up to 10 members, including those outside the immediate household.
Ontarians who wish to form a safe social circle should follow these five steps:
- Start with your current circle: the people you live with or who regularly come into your household;
- If your current circle is under 10 people, you can add members to your circle, including those from another household, family members or friends;
- Get agreement from everyone that they will join the circle;
- Keep your social circle safe. Maintain physical distancing with anyone outside of your circle;
- and Be true to your circle. No one should be part of more than one circle.
The rules for social circles are different from the proposed expansion of social gatherings from five to 10 people. Social gatherings can be any 10 people from outside your household, but where physical distancing of at least two metres should be maintained.
On the other hand, social circles will enable Ontarians to enjoy close contact with members of their circle. This could include hugging, carpooling, enjoying a patio and sharing a meal without staying two metres apart. Ontarians should avoid close-contact activities with anyone outside of their circle if they are unable to maintain physical distancing. Social circles will also bring back supports from people outside of their household who can now help with children, seniors or those in need.
Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province increased the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2.