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Garage, yard sales are still not permitted in Orillia

Health unit has given the green light to yard sales, but Orillia says decision won't be looked at until province enters Stage 3 of its reopening plan

Do you miss heading out in your car on Saturday mornings in the pursuit of bargains?

It may still be a while before you can do that in Orillia.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has given garage and yard sales the green light, but they continue to be prohibited in Orillia.

In its memo to municipal leaders last week, the health unit said garage sales and yard sales are now permitted, but stressed there are rules that need to be followed to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The health unit said the limit on the number of people allowed at public gatherings - 10 - would apply to lawn and garage sales.

The health unit also provided tips for managing such sales and had some helpful hints for those purchasing second-hand goods.

Orillia's emergency management committee (EMC) decided to continue the prohibition of garage sales in light of COVID-19 prior to the health unit providing the guidelines on how to safely hold garage sales, notes Jennifer Ruff, the city’s director of communication and business development.

“As with all COVID-19 restrictions and assistance measures the EMC has put in place, we will continue to evaluate and review our timelines and adjust accordingly,” she told OrilliaMatters, noting that the decision about garage sales would be re-evaluated when the province enters Stage 3 of its reopening plan. 

“Concerns about the inability to control large gatherings, enforce physical distancing and properly sanitize items during the sale of second-hand goods from people’s homes contributed to our decision on the matter,” said Ruff.

Some jurisdictions, such as Barrie, have lifted the prohibition on garage sales. 

The health unit provided the following t\ips for managing or buying second-hand during COVID-19:

  • Avoid all close contact with people outside your household and practice physical distancing (ie stay six feet away from others all all times. 
  • If you are organizing a yard sale at your home, limit gathering on the retail space (driveway, yard) to 10 people. 
  • Post signs to indicate the 10-person limit, have hand sanitizer available and do not attend/host garage/yard sales if you have COVID-19, are unwell or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • Remember to wear a non-medical mask or face covering when physical distancing is not possible.

Dave Dawson

About the Author: Dave Dawson

Dave Dawson is community editor of
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