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New Enhanced Interim Guidance for Gyms and Halloween in Hamilton

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson has announced new enhanced interim guidance for gyms and recreational activities. In addition to all existing provincial requirements, effective now, 2020, Hamilton Public Health Services is requiring that all recreation fitness facilities in Hamilton put in place the following additional measures:

•             Ensure that physical distancing of at least 3 metres is maintained between every person involved in any exercise/ physical exertion activity.

•             Ensure that a physical distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) between employees, gym patrons and visitors is maintained at all times, or that a non-permeable physical barrier is in place when not involved in exercise.

•             Set a capacity limit of up to 10 persons (including staff) per indoor group fitness class/training session, with a final capacity limit being determined by the ability of persons to practice 3 metre physical distancing between every person.

•             Ensure all persons (including staff, patrons and visitors) wear a face covering while in the facility (including when actively engaged in physical activity).

Owners/operators are reminded of their responsibility to follow the provincial requirements set out in Guidance for facilities for sports and recreational fitness activities during COVID-19  which includes:

•             Ensuring that the building heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) system is well maintained in accordance to manufacturer’s instructions and meets minimum American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditions Engineers (ASHRAE) standards.

•             Ensuring that no shouting or singing occurs in classes (to facilitate communication, fitness instructors should consider using microphones).  More information can be found on  

Recommendations for Halloween

Yesterday, the Province of Ontario issued public health advice for Halloween this year. The city of Hamilton is encouraging residents to stay home and celebrate Halloween in different ways this year. Avoid attending parties/gatherings with others who live outside your household to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Trick-or-treaters should follow public health measures to stay safe.

Handing out Halloween treats

•             Wear a non-medical mask that fully covers your nose, mouth and chin.

•             Set up a trick or treating station outside, using a table to place treats on to maintain distancing.

•             Portion treats out ahead of time to prevent contact & use tongs to hand out.  Do not leave out self-serve bowls of bulk candy.

•             If you hand out treats indoors, place a sign on your door asking trick-or-treaters to knock instead of ringing the doorbell.

•             Wash or sanitize hands frequently.

•             Stay 2 metres away from trick-or-treaters.

•             Build a candy slide, candy catapult or other fun, non-touch delivery methods.


•             Minimize contact with others: trick-or-treat only with those who you live with and stay two metres apart from all others.

•             Only trick-or-treat outside.

•             Wash hands before eating candy.

•             Choose a costume that allows a non-medical mask to be worn underneath and that allows you to easily wash your hands.

•             Wash your hands before and after trick or treating and bring hand sanitizer with you.

•             Avoid touching doorbells or railings, knock instead of using doorbells, use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces.

•             Line up 2 metres apart if waiting for treats.

•             Outline a plan with older children who are trick-or-treating on their own, including how to avoid situations such as crowded door steps or joining with other groups and talking about the number of homes they can visit.

•             Remember the usual Halloween safety tips – dress for the weather, wear reflectors, watch for traffic, and check treats before eating

Thank you for doing your part this Halloween by celebrating safely. For more information, visit:

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