COVID-19 Ontario wedding rules: What you need to know about vaccine requirements for receptions and ceremonies

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Ontario's top doctor is warning couples that it's "imperative" to follow public health measures for weddings.

"We have noticed a number of outbreaks associated with weddings, in particular wedding receptions," Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario's chief medical officer of health said at a press conference on Thursday.

"I know that getting married is a special moment for couples and their families and that no one wants COVID-19 as one of the guests."

While the current rules state that individuals who are not fully vaccinated can attend a wedding reception in a meeting or event space by providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test, this exemption comes to an end next week.

Different rules for wedding ceremonies vs. receptions

As of Oct. 13, proof of full vaccination or an eligible exemption is required to attend a wedding reception. 

Individuals who are at a meeting or event space, including a conference centre or convention centre, only for the purpose of attending a wedding service, rite or ceremony or a funeral service, rite or ceremony, do not have to show proof of vaccination, according to Ontario's public health advice. They will not, however, be granted access to any related reception event.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's medical officer of health, confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that she has seen data that "suggests that weddings are a distinct source of COVID-19 infections."

Since Sept. 24, there have been five confirmed "chains of transmission" linked to weddings in Ontario.

"When we get together, it’s easy to let our guards down," Dr. de Villa stated.

Indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies at places of worship, meeting or events spaces, are limited to the number of people who can be in room with a two-metre physical distance between everyone in attendance.

Indoor wedding receptions at meeting or event spaces are limited to 50 per cent capacity, up to 1,000 people with physical distancing. Outdoor wedding receptions are limited to 75 per cent capacity, up to 5,000 people with physical distancing.

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