Mayor John Tory says he has signed a By-law mandating a physical distance of 2 metres between people in parks and public squares unless they live together. Anyone found in violation could be fined $5,000.
Tory made the announcement Thursday afternoon during his daily COVID-19 briefing and said the By-law will be in place for the next 30 days to “drive home the message that people have to keep their distance to avoid the spreading of COVID-19.”
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Under the By-law, any two people who don’t live together and fail to keep two meters of distance between them in a park or a public square will be subject to persecution and will, upon conviction, be liable for a fine of up to $5,000, said Tory.
Tory added that the city is also working to set the fine at $750.
“This is a deadly virus that has already tragically claimed the lives of Toronto residents,” Tory said. “Given the surge in cases and deaths that we have seen in places like New York and Italy, we must do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 now to save lives in the weeks and months ahead.”
I will be joining Dr. @epdevilla and @ChiefPeggTFS at 3:45PM this afternoon to provide an update on the @CityofToronto and @TOPublicHealth‘s ongoing response to #COVID19. Follow along live here: https://t.co/8E2mZplEi6
— John Tory (@JohnTory) April 2, 2020
This news comes as residents continue to ignore the advice from officials to stay apart and are still gathering in parks and closed playgrounds, despite them being closed.
Toronto police chief Mark Saunders says officers will start enforcing the new 2-metre physical distancing rules immediately and that he will assign 160 uniformed officers to this task.
This news comes as Dr. Eileen de Villa confirmed there are now 879 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Toronto.