ONTARIO – Ontario Premier Doug Ford has reduced the maximum number on public gatherings across the province to help stop rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Earlier this week, Ford reduced the number of people allowed to gather in public from 50 indoors down to 10 and 100 outdoors down to 25. He is now implementing this reduction province wide.
“A lot of these cases are tied to people who aren’t following the rules,” Ford said in an update on Saturday, Sept. 19. “People who think it is okay to hold parties, to carry on as if things are back to normal. They aren’t.”
Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) said earlier this week that he hoped that the province would indeed extend these regulations to the EOHU region at the very least.
Ford stated that it was important to take immediate action to protect progress made in stemming the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Folks, we can’t have big parties right now, it is just to risky,” he said. “And we can’t have people trying to merge indoor and outdoor parties so don’t try to get around the rules. This is about everyone’s health and safety and we have to crack down on the rule breakers.”
Ford said that his government had proposed legislation to fine organizers of illegal parties with a fine of $10,000 and that under the province’s current emergency orders, party goers can be fined $750.
These restrictions do not apply to staffed facilities such as movie theatres, banquet halls, restaurants and places of worship.