OTTAWA -- Garage sales have the green light to open in Ottawa during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ottawa Public Health and Ottawa Bylaw Services confirm garage sales are permitted to operate now that Ottawa is in Step 1 of Ontario’s reopening plan.

Garage sales are not specifically mentioned in the regulations, Bylaw Services director Roger Chapman said.

“Garage sales would be subject to the same restrictions as outdoor gatherings, which limits the number of people on the property to ten, including the host, and requires physical distancing yourself from people who are not part of your household."

Chapman also suggests wearing a mask if distances cannot be maintained.

"We recommend hand sanitizer to be made available prior to people browsing around the garage sale," said Chapman in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

"We also recommend a virtual garage sale, with a contactless, curbside pickup option to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Ottawa Public Health offers the following tips to keep you and others safe if hosting a garage sale:

  • Follow capacity limits for outdoor gatherings by referring to the Reopening Ontario webpage.
  • Put up posters outlining health measures (wear masks, maintain physical distancing and encourage hand hygiene).
  • Restrict and manage traffic by asking people to wait nearby once the property reaches capacity.
  • Set up and manage directional traffic flow, to minimize crowding.
  • Set up sanitization stations so people can cleanse their hands before and after handling items.

Non-essential retails are permitted to open during Step 1 of the reopening plan, with capacity limited to 15 per cent of the store.