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COVID-19 Update: New Restrictions and Municipal Impacts in Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON – Earlier today, Premier Ford announced a number of new restrictions as a result of continued pressures on the hospital system and the rise of COVID-19 variant cases in Ontario. The Province also announced strengthened enforcement of the Stay-at-Home Orders, aimed at stopping the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Ontario.

The Stay-at-Home Order is expected to last until at least May 20, 2021. Under the Order, residents must remain at home at all times, with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. Businesses across the province must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

Beginning tomorrow, Saturday April 17 at 12:01 am the following restrictions will be in effect:

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events will be prohibited, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of the household
  • All non-essential workplaces in the construction sector will be closed
  • Capacity limits in all retail settings where in-store shopping is permitted will be reduced to 25 per cent. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies
  • All outdoor recreational amenities, such as golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields, and playgrounds will be closed, with limited exceptions.

Beginning Monday, April 19 at 12:01 am the following restrictions will be in effect:

  • Capacity for weddings, funerals and religious services, rites or ceremonies will be limited to 10 people indoors or outdoors.
  • All social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions will be prohibited, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone. Drive-in services will be permitted.

All other public health and workplace safety measures for non-essential retail under the provincewide emergency brake (i.e., curbside pick-up and delivery only), will continue to apply.

These new restrictions have a number of specific impacts in the City of Hamilton. To align with the new restrictions, tomorrow City staff will begin implementing the following closures in Hamilton:

  • All sets of escarpment stairs
  • All municipal playgrounds / play structures
  • All municipal park amenities including soccer fields, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, pickleball courts, skateboard parks, and the Gage Park Pump Track.
    • Residents are welcome to enjoy park greenspaces with members of their own household while keeping appropriate physical distance from others.
    • No organized or pick-up games are permitted.
  • Chedoke Golf Course and King’s Forest Golf Course will be closed to play.   
    • Residents are welcome to enjoy golf course greenspaces with members of their own household while keeping appropriate physical distance from others.
    • Golfing or other sports are not permitted.

Signs, caution tape and/or barriers will be installed in these locations over the weekend and through the coming days. Residents can still be fined for using closed amenities, even if the signs have not yet been posted.

City of Hamilton Licensing and Bylaw Services officers will work closely with Hamilton Police and provincial enforcement teams to enforce the Stay-At-Home Orders.  Effective Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:01 am., police officers and other provincial offences officers will have the authority to require any individual to provide their home address and purpose for not being at their residence. In addition, police officers, special constables and First Nation Constables will have the authority to stop vehicles to inquire about an individual's reasons for leaving their home. This additional enforcement tool will only be in effect during the Stay-at-Home order and exclusively to enforce the Stay-at-Home order.

Residents should not call 911 to ask for clarity on the Stay-at-Home Orders. 911 is for emergencies only. To report a concern, residents can call the Customer Contact Centre at 905-546-CITY (2489).

It is vital that members of the public, even those who have been vaccinated, ensure that public health measures still be practiced until it is safe and said to be safe by the health professionals in all levels of government.  Public health measures include:  

  • Stay home if you are feeling unwell
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or have been in close contact with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19
  • Limit gatherings to only members of your immediate household
  • Maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet or 2 meters from others outside of your immediate household
  • Wear a mask or face covering indoors and outdoors when not able to maintain physical distancing
  • Wash hands frequently