Yard Sales and COVID-19

Rusty chair with a garage sale sign

Should you wish to hold a garage or yard sale you must comply with:

  • the provincial regulations limiting the numbers at outdoor social gatherings (under Step 1 of the Ontario Roadmap to Reopening, that means a limit of 10 people per residence),
  • physical distancing guidelines (keeping 2 m or 6 feet apart from others) and the need for masks/face coverings if distance cannot be maintained, and
  • any further advice from the health unit.

Note that these requirements are subject to change. 

You must also comply with Middlesex Centre's property standards by-law with regards to yard sales (limited to 3 yards sales per property per year).

Considerations for hosting a Yard Sale

Should you choose to host a sale, you may find this guidance from Southwestern Public Health helpful in your preparations.


  • Have a plan to reinforce limiting the number of people to adhere to current gathering limits. This may include designating a person to monitor the numbers or posting signage at the end of your property asking people to wait if there are more than the number of people permitted
  • Position tables as far apart as possible to allow for physical distancing of 2m (6 feet)
  • Identify a specific traffic flow so that customers are moving in one direction by posting signs or taping arrows on the pavement
  • Have hand sanitizer available for yourself and for customers’ use
  • For cash exchange, ensure that you wash/sanitize your hands before and after touching the money
  • Designate a cash box space for customers to set their money down and retrieve change from rather than directly exchanging money
  • If physical distancing is difficult, wear a mask or face covering
  • Limit the handling of items as much as possible once your sale has begun – sanitizing hands before and after adjusting items
  • Food should not be sold at yard/garage sales


  • Do not go out if you are feeling unwell
  • Clean your hands regularly and often (think before, during, after) when you arrive and leave the garage sale
  • Stay 2m (6 feet) from others while shopping
  • Have only one member of your household do the shopping
  • Look for the direction to follow the specific flow of traffic the seller has laid out for the sale
  • Consider wearing a mask/face covering, especially if you cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from others
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, or mouth
  • Limit the handling of items as much as possible
  • For cash exchange ensure that you wash/sanitize your hands before and after touching the money


The Municipality of Middlesex Centre, the provincial and federal governments, and public health officials continue to urge people to stay home as much as possible, avoid gatherings, and practice physical distancing. Before you set out your sale signs, consider if now is the best time to host yard sales and similar events.