COVID-19 safety

What’s on this page?

What does it mean to be COVID-safe?

To be COVID-safe means assessing your actions, think things through, and take deliberate precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our behaviour can help reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19.

How can you be COVID-safe?

Simple actions and personal protective measures will go a long way to protect our health, our health care system, our schools, and our jobs and economy.


Use multiple layers of personal protective measures to protect yourself from COVID-19 in any situation (Public Health Ontario, PDF). Whether you are out shopping or attending a gathering it is important you remain COVID-safe to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our communities safe.

Remember to always follow the current guidance and restrictions in effect by the Government of Ontario.

1. Get vaccinated against COVID-19

It is more important than ever to get two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and a third if you are eligible, to boost your immune response. The vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19. For the best protection against COVID-19 and variants, such as the delta variant, individuals must complete the vaccine series.

2. Practise physical distancing and avoid crowded spaces

Continue to maintain physical distancing of 2 metres from others in all settings. Physical distancing is important as it limits the number of people with whom you come into close contact. Maintaining 2 metres distance from each other reduces the opportunity for the virus to spread from person to person. Stay 2 metres away from everyone you do not live with, especially when it’s not possible to wear a mask.

When an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, shouts, or talks they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the novel coronavirus, if the person has COVID-19. Practise physical distancing to slow the spread!

3. Wear a well-fitting mask

Use a mask in enclosed indoor public spaces and when you can’t keep 2 metres distance outdoors. Keep a mask with you so you can use it when you need it. When wearing a mask make sure it fits properly (covers your nose, mouth, and chin).

4. Spend time outdoors or in well-ventilated spaces

Plan outside gatherings. When outdoor gatherings are not possible ensure proper ventilation. If you do not have a ventilation system, open windows to increase air flow.

5. Limit gatherings

Provincial gathering limits may vary, but public health measures stay the same. Ask yourself if the gathering is necessary and if so, assess your risk and determine how you can make the activity safer.

6. Avoid non-essential travel

Ask yourself if the travel is necessary and if so, plan ahead on how you will keep COVID-safe.

7. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer

Wash your hands often and when visibly dirty for 15 seconds. When entering or leaving a store or event space apply hand sanitizer to your hands. Make a habit of carrying hand sanitizer with you for when hand washing is not possible.

8. Stay home when ill

The easiest way to reduce transmission is to stay home when ill. By staying home, you reduce your number of interactions with people and the risk of spreading disease. If you have a COVID-19 symptom, get tested.

9. Get tested

If you have a COVID-19 symptom, if you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you are at risk of exposure to COVID-19, contact an assessment centre and get tested. Remember, you can still be infected after a negative test. A negative result should not be treated as a free pass to let your guard down. Continue to take precautions.

10. Work remotely

Where possible continue to work remotely. Reducing our time in the workplace reduces the possibility of introducing the virus to new environments. If you cannot work remotely, follow public health guidance for workplaces.

Remember to practise kindness, patience, and gratitude—we are all in this together. Changing our behaviour and doing things in new ways takes practice. Be patient with others while we continue to adjust and adapt.

Assess your risk and practise simple yet powerful Top-10-COVID-Rules-to-Live-By to get us through this pandemic safely.

COVID-safety tips

Seeing a Personal Care Service Provider?

The safe option:

The safer option:

Planning a gathering?

The safe option:

The safer option:

Participating in outdoor sports or fitness classes?

The safe option:

The safer option:

Attending an outdoor organized public event (sports, concert, farmer’s market)?

The safe option:

The safer option:

Going shopping?

The safe option:

The safer option:

Dining out?

The safe option:

The safer option:

Attending a museum or indoor event space?

The safe option:

The safer option:

Your actions matter

Your actions matter to keep yourself and others COVID-safe. It is important to think ahead and understand risks for COVID-19. Risk levels may vary based on activity.

Here are a few examples of lower risk activities you may choose to do:

  1. Go for a walk in your neighbourhood
  2. Host a backyard BBQ with members of your household
  3. Sightsee in your personal vehicle

Some higher risk activities include:

  1. Gathering indoors in public spaces
  2. Crowded public transportation
  3. Indoor and outdoor parties

Try to choose lower risk activities to limit your risk of contracting COVID-19.

If you get symptoms, even mild ones, do not participate in any activities and make an appointment to get tested for COVID-19.

Safe holidays and celebrations

Staying connected with loved ones and friends is important but COVID-19 does not take holidays. While we continue to navigate a global pandemic, celebrations must look a little different. When planning, hosting, or attending a holiday celebration think about how you can modify your activities in a COVID-safe way.

Halloween COVID-safe

This Halloween be COVID-safe! While traditional Halloween celebrations, like trick-or-treating, are allowed this year, make this Halloween both spooky and COVID-safe for everyone!

Get creative and consider alternatives to traditional celebrations. Have fun with decorations, carve pumpkins, admire Halloween decorations at a distance, host a virtual costume parade, or come up with new ideas of your own.

As you make your plans, ask yourself how you can scare up some Halloween fun and be COVID-safe too.


If you choose to gather with people, continue to follow good public health practices.


If you choose to go door-to-door or hand out treats at home, help make this Halloween COVID safe!

Halloween at school

Halloween can be a fun and exciting time for children of all ages. Here are some things to consider for schools that want to celebrate the holidays with their students.

Learn more about how to celebrate safely (Government of Ontario).

COVID-safe hunting

To protect our families, and our communities, hunting needs to take place in COVID-safe way.

While hunting this season follow these COVID-safe tips.

Community gardens

The operator(s) of community or allotment gardens must ensure that all garden members are familiar with Public Health conditions and directions for operating during COVID-19. Visit our COVID-19 resources page to download our COVID-19 and Community Gardens Public Health Direction and signage.

Stay informed and be prepared

Canadians’ best defense against COVID-19 is to stay informed, be prepared and get vaccinated. Anyone can post anything online. It’s important to think critically about posts to decide if it’s truthful and safe. Here are some tips to help you decide whether information is worth considering:

The following are examples credible sources of information.

For more information and credible resources, visit our COVID-19 resources page.

This item was last modified on October 19, 2021