On May 16, Ontario amended its emergency order to allow drive-in worship services. This brings Ontario in line with other provinces, including Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia which both already permit drive-in services. New Brunswick has guidelines for outdoor religious services and British Columbia has never prohibited worship services, but has had guidance in place since late March for religious gatherings.
The rules in Ontario are as follows, paraphrased:
- Those attending must remain in their vehicle.
- Only one household per vehicle.
- Two metre distancing between vehicles.
- No more than five people conduct the service, social distancing from each other and vehicles.
- The building remains closed, except for reasonable access by those conducting the service.
- No materials can be exchanged between vehicles and/or between those conducting the service and vehicles (i.e. communion, offering).
- The same rules apply, with necessary modification, to those who use non-motorized vehicles because of their religious beliefs.
For more on what is open in provinces and territories across Canada, and for any church-specific guidance, see our blog post on COVID-19: Re-Opening Plans Across Canada.
Church and charity leaders are invited to share how they are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic within their organization in our online community forum The Green: COVID-19 Response Room.
Posted May 17 @ 7:30am
Noteworthy is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Every organization’s circumstances are unique. Before acting on the basis of information contained in this blog, readers should consult with a qualified lawyer for advice specific to their situation.