COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions about Campus Events

Classroom with whiteboard, wooden tables and black chairs

Can events be held on campus now?

Internal activities:

uOttawa employees, professors and administrators can host events on campus when the current status of public health measures permits and provided they strictly respect public health guidelines.

Student group activities:

As of October 1, 2020, UOSU has concluded that no in-person activities can take place on campus until further notice. Please refer to your student group email or contact CVUO for additional information.

External activities:

Unfortunately, we are unable to process your request at this time due to COVID-19. The health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority. In our effort to reduce the risk of direct infection and transmission of the virus, the University of Ottawa has implemented restrictions on all external activities until January 3, 2021. Please note that this date may be extended.

The University of Ottawa bases its events decisions on the public health measures in place at the provincial and municipal level.

The current status of public health measures in place is:
Restrict (intermediate measures) – orange.

Note: Should there be any discrepancy between the information provided by Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the content of this page, please note that OPH’s guidelines prevail. To learn more about the levels of public health measures, visit the COVID-19 response framework.

Following Ottawa Public Health and the University procedures, as well as the event industry recommendations, we’ve put together a list of guidelines for social gatherings to ensure every participant’s health and safety.

These guidelines are subject to change without warning. It is the client who is responsible for ensuring that they are aware of the latest information prior to the start of their reservation.

CURRERNT STATUS: Orange (restrict)


Event capacity
Maximum indoor capacity: 50 people per building or designated event space
Maximum outdoor capacity: 100 people

  • Capacity includes participants, speakers, staff, and any service providers or suppliers (such as audio-visual and catering).
  • The client is responsible to ensure that this maximum is respected throughout the entirety of their activity.
  • Physical distancing must still be maintained by all participants.
  • Booking multiple rooms or outdoor spaces for the same event is not permitted.

Capacity per table
Maximum of 4 people per table, and there must be 2 feet between each person (front, back and sides)

Event time
Establishment must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. or according to uOttawa building hours of operations..

Food
No self-serve buffets are permitted. Packaged meals or served meals are mandatory regardless if you are using Infusion Catering or any other external food suppliers.

Alcohol service
Alcohol can only be sold and served between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. No consumption is permitted after 10 p.m. Please note that Infusion Catering remains the exclusive alcohol service beverage on campus.

Music
Limit the volume of music to the conversational level and prevent instructors and the audience from shouting.

Green (prevent)


Event capacity
Maximum indoor capacity: 50 people
Maximum outdoor capacity: 100 people

  • Capacity includes participants, speakers, staff, and any service providers or suppliers (such as audio-visual and catering).
  • The client is responsible to ensure that this maximum is respected throughout the entirety of their activity.
  • Physical distancing must still be maintained by all participants.
  • Booking multiple rooms or outdoor spaces for the same event is not permitted.

Capacity per table
No maximum capacity, but there must be 2 feet between each person (front, back and sides)

Event time
To be determined based on location and event type.

Food
No self-serve buffets are permitted. Packaged meals or served meals are mandatory regardless if you are using Infusion Catering or any other external food suppliers.

Alcohol service
Alcohol can only be sold and served between 9 a.m. and midnight. No consumption is permitted after 1 a.m. Please note that Infusion Catering remains the exclusive alcohol service beverage on campus.

Music
Reasonable volume level.

Yellow (protect)


Event capacity
Maximum indoor capacity: 50 people per building or designated event space
Maximum outdoor capacity: 100 people

  • Capacity includes participants, speakers, staff, and any service providers or suppliers (such as audio-visual and catering).
  • The client is responsible to ensure that this maximum is respected throughout the entirety of their activity.
  • Physical distancing must still be maintained by all participants.
  • Booking multiple rooms for the same event is not permitted.

Capacity per table
Maximum of 6 people per table, and there must be 2 feet between each person (front, back and sides)

Event time
Establishment must be closed from midnight to 5 a.m. or according to uOttawa building hours of operations.

Food
No self-serve buffets are permitted. Packaged meals or served meals are mandatory regardless if you are using Infusion Catering or any other external food suppliers.

Alcohol service
Alcohol can only be sold and served between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. No consumption is permitted after midnight. Please note that Infusion Catering remains the exclusive alcohol service beverage on campus.

Music
Volume cannot be louder than the volume of a normal conversation

Red (control)


Event capacity
Maximum indoor capacity: Indoor events are not permitted.

Maximum outdoor capacity: 25 people

  • Capacity includes participants, speakers, staff, and any service providers or suppliers (such as audio-visual and catering).
  • The client is responsible to ensure that this maximum is respected throughout the entirety of their activity.
  • Physical distancing must still be maintained by all participants.
  • Booking multiple rooms or outdoor spaces for the same event is not permitted.

Capacity per table
Maximum of 4 people per table, and there must be two feet between each person (front, back and sides)

Event time
Establishment must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. or according to uOttawa building hours of operations.

Food
Not permitted

Alcohol service
Not permitted

Music
Limit volume of music to be low enough that a normal conversation is possible

Grey (lockdown)


Event capacity
Maximum indoor capacity: Indoor events, indoor meetings and operational gatherings are not permitted.

Any operational team gatherings essential for the operations of uOttawa or mental health support services, that cannot take place via videoconference, must be pre-approved by Conventions and Reservations. Contact us at congres@uOttawa.ca.

Maximum outdoor capacity: 10 people

  • Capacity includes participants, speakers, staff, and any service providers or suppliers (such as audio-visual and catering).
  • The client is responsible to ensure that this maximum is respected throughout the entirety of their activity.
  • Physical distancing must still be maintained by all participants.

Capacity per table
Outdoor only: Maximum of 4 people per table, and there must be 2 feet between each person (front, back and sides)

Event time
According to uOttawa building hours and operations.

Food
Not permitted

Alcohol service
Not permitted

Music
Not permitted

Guidelines for safe gatherings on campus (updated November 24, 2020)

Regardless of restriction level, here are guidelines to follow:
  • The event organizer must work closely with the Conventions and Reservations coordinator to develop and implement a health and safety plan. Note that respecting physical distancing requires extra time during arrival, departure, breaks and meals.
  • Physical distancing is required at all times before, during, and after the event. All those present must maintain a distance of at least two metres (6 feet) from other persons.
  • The organizer must designate a member of their team to that guests remain in the designated area of the reservation, and to ensure that physical distancing is respected:
    • In line-ups prior to entering the designated space,
    • In nearby common areas (lobbies, washrooms, hallways, elevators, etc.)
  • The University has installed directional signage in the buildings and rooms, but you are responsible for ensuring everyone present respect the indications.
  • All persons entering or remaining in our premises are required to wear a mask that securely covers the nose, mouth and chin. Full details in FAQ below, or for more information you can visit the Ottawa Public Health website and the University of Ottawa FAQ.
  • Networking events, receptions, concerts, dancing lessons, and any other activities that are not conducive to physical distancing are not permitted until further notice.
  • The Agora, lower level promenade of the University Centre (UCU) and other lobby spaces are closed until further notice.
  • All participants and speakers must be local. Therefore, anyone from outside the National Capital Region, including anyone from out of the country who has not completed a full 14-day quarantine, cannot participate in any events on campus. If you already have a file started for an event with an international speaker and/or international participants, we recommend contacting C&R to delay or cancel your reservation.
  • It is mandatory to have a list of participants with their full contact information to keep track of that quantity of participants, and for contact tracing purposes by OPH, should anyone report symptoms. If a guest informs you that they have developed any COVID-19 related symptoms, you must inform Conventions and Reservations immediately.
  • The client is responsible to provide the following information by email to their participants at least 3 days prior to the reservation.
  • Guests must stay within the designated space of the reservation, and are discouraged from mingling with other guests in any area around that space.
  • Guests attending a multi-day event or meeting should remain with the same group for the duration of the entire event or meeting.
  • Linen such as napkins and table clothes are discouraged to minimize contamination.
  • Limit the sharing of equipment as much as possible (e.g., microphones, remotes, pens, etc.). Hand hygiene should be performed before and after using shared equipment.
  • The client must ensure that disinfecting tissues and alcohol-based hand sanitizer are provided at the entrance of the space/room reserved and that participants oblige with this measure. The client is responsible for any expenses related to this measure.
  • The reservation space must be cleaned before your usage. You can either arrange cleaning services through Conventions and Reservations (75$/room) or you need to provide participants with a disposable wipe and antibacterial spray solution. Some events may require mandatory cleaning services. The client is responsible for any expenses related to this measure.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are you applying physical distancing measures in rooms/spaces?

All registrar classrooms and C&R managed event spaces have adjusted the number of seats available to allow spacing of six feet (2 metres) between individuals.

Tables and chairs may be spaced to meet best practices, and the usage of floor decals and other forms of signage may inform attendees on the best way to move through the space to limit contact.

Do I need to wear a mask during my activity/event?
Indoor

Ottawa Public Health has mandated the use of masks or face coverings in all enclosed public spaces. All members of the uOttawa community and participants who must come to campus are now required to wear a mask or face covering that securely covers the nose, mouth and chin while in common spaces (including classrooms, boardrooms and other event spaces) inside buildings.

Therefore, you must wear a mask for the duration of the activity on campus in addition to keeping a physical distance of 2 meters.

Outdoor

Ottawa Public Health has not mandated the use of mask for outdoor spaces. Masks must be worn when social distancing of 2 meters cannot be respected.

According to Ottawa Public Health, mask use should be combined with other protective measures, such as physical distancing, hand washing, not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, and staying home if you are sick.

For additional mask information, visit the Ottawa Public Health Website and the University of Ottawa FAQ.

What happens if social distancing or room capacities are not respected during the event?

The client is responsible for assigning a university employee or a university student to be present before, during, and after the event to provide information, enforcing rules, and modeling healthy behaviour.

Event checks will be done by members of the University staff. In the event that a member from the University at the event not complying with the established guidelines, you will be asked to comply immediately. By not obliging, you may have to end your social gathering immediately and may be prevented from future/host events until COVID-19 measures are no longer in effect.

Will these guidelines change? How do they impact my reservation?

Unfortunately, we are dealing with unknown and unprecedented times. The governmental response, the unknown future circumstances that could result from it and its impact on University operations constitute events or causes beyond the University’s control.

Therefore, you agree that your reservation request, the reservation contract and the Terms and Conditions are subject to and conditional upon the governmental response and its impact on University operations. Additional fees to cover the University’s costs to comply with the governmental response to COVID-19 may be charged and payable by you and we will make reasonable efforts to notify you of any such additional fees as soon as possible.

Depending on the operations as well as the capacities in each building, we ask that organizers remain flexible with the location of their event(s). We may have to change your location as some spaces are restricted, etc.

How long will these guidelines be in effect?

The current public health guidelines have impacted the University’s operations and it is uncertain how long these measures will be in place. It is also unknown whether there may be a resurgence of the virus and resulting or supplementary renewed governmental response that could have further impacts on the University’s operations. The governmental response, the unknown future circumstances that could result from it, and its impact on University operations constitute events or causes beyond the University’s control.

How is our cancellation policy flexible during this uncertain time?

Depending on your events requirements, the agent will let you know the deadline to cancel your event without any penalty or your risk of penalty fees (if any).

If we are forced to cancel your reservation contract for reasons related to public health restrictions or other causes beyond the University’s control, the provisions of Section 6.2 of the Terms and Conditions will apply. We will make reasonable efforts to notify you of the cancellation as soon as possible and you will be refunded the amount you have paid up to the date you were notified of the cancellation.


These guidelines are subject to change. Contact us for any other questions.

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