Daily Management Review

Ontario’s Social Bubbles With No Social Distancing Pressure


Through simple steps, ensuring safety, government in Ontario have allowed people to be part of one social circle.

Ontario is facing a descending graph of new COVID-19 cases. As a result, the government has allowed people to create “social circles” maximum of ten people consisting of friends and family. As of now, one person can “only be a part of one circle” which will augment the chances of meeting more family and friends. However, other provinces have termed this arrangement as “bubbles” while the idea remains the same.
Moreover, people within the circle will have no compulsion to maintain social distancing norms. In the words of the Health Minister of Ontario, Christine Elliott:
“Think of your social circle as the people you can touch, hug and have close contact with as we continue the fight against COVID-19”.
“Be true to your social circle. No one should be part of more than one circle”.
Last week, in new guidelines on “social gathering”, which differed from its previous version, people have been allowed to “gather in public spaces in groups of up to 10” which could consist of people outside the social bubbles. However, maintaining a distance of two metre remained mandatory. The idea of expanding social circles for Ontarians would help people with “child- or senior-care needs” besides alleviating the isolation impact on mental health.
Nevertheless, in higher risk groups people need to be discerning whole forming the social circle, informed a public health officer. In the houses where the household members alone add up to ten, they will not be able to expand their circle further. The guidelines were made effective irrespective of the regions’ reopening status.
Ford also informed that his government trusts people to expand their social circles in responsible manner so that enforcing laws by police will “not be a priority”. In his words:
“The social circle police are not going to be knocking on your door. We're trusting people”.
Here are the steps that Ontarians need to follow for creating “a safe social circle”, informed the province:
  • “Start with your current circle: the people you live with or who regularly come into your household.
  • “Step 2: If your current circle is under 10 people, you can add members to your circle, including another household, family members or friends.
  • “Step 3: Get agreement from everyone that they will join the circle.
  • “Step 4: Keep your social circle safe. Maintain physical distancing with anyone outside of your circle.
  • “Step 5: Be true to your social circle. No one should be part of more than one circle”.
Nevertheless, Ford also added that “maximum size” of a social circle could increase in the coming “weeks and months”.