Yes your friend or family member can come over - but it's complicated


Ontario Premier Doug Ford caused a bit of confusion in the opening remarks of his daily address Wednesday, as he was discussing current public health restrictions. 

"We can't have more than five people from outside your household right now," he said.

So does that mean you can have five family members or friends come over to your house? 

The answer is no, as the premier's office said afterwards that Ford misspoke and the current order on social gatherings still applies as "no person shall attend...a social gathering of more than five people" which also applies to a gathering in a private household. 

(The exceptions are members of a single household or gatherings for funerals of 10 or fewer people.) 

However, the order does not mean that invitations are actually prohibited. 

For example, if a family of four of two parents and two children want one grandparent to come over, they technically can.

But what makes the visit tricky is rules around physical distancing still apply, which the province's COVID-19 states, "this means staying at least two metres away from anyone outside your household."

Ford caused some controversy earlier this month, when he said that two of his daughters who live outside his home came to visit, causing a total of six people in the home, which would be breaking the order.

"How you're going to maintain the six-foot distance the whole time is going to be, you have to assess that and address that," Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said after Ford's admission, though he didn't comment directly on the visit. 

But despite the lack of a prohibition of entering someone else's home, Williams has still not moved forward with official guidelines around household-to-household contact, known as bubbles, that have been introduced in other provinces like Nova Scotia.

So to recap: a loved one or friend can technically come over as long as there's no more than five people in the home, even though there's still no guidelines around household bubbles and even if someone does come over, they still have to somehow maintain physical distancing.