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GTHA Mayors and Chairs encourage residents to follow public health Christmas advice and urge consideration of different restriction models for New Year

HAMILTON, ON – Today, Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area held their regular weekly meeting to discuss the ongoing response to the COVID-19 resurgence across the region.

With Toronto, Peel and now York Region in lockdown, the Mayors and Chairs call on the province to provide as much notice as possible to affected businesses about next steps. We believe businesses need adequate notice about any changes or continuation of lockdown measures so they can plan accordingly.

The Mayors and Chairs also agreed to request the province to work with them and other affected interests over the holiday period to consider other forms of public health restrictions which could be utilized if necessary in the New Year. This could include increased use of capacity restriction or other similar measures which could see a broader sharing of the economic burdens and benefits of such public health measures. The municipal leaders also advocated an increased use of technology to avoid lineups currently being seen outside many stores which goes against public health advice.

The Mayors and Chairs also reiterated their view that steps need to be taken to deal with the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces including the provision of a guarantee to any worker who tests positive that they will lose neither their job nor their paycheque.

With Christmas holidays approaching, the Mayors and Chairs continue to urge residents to listen to the public health advice and avoid in-person Christmas gatherings with people outside their household. We understand this will be hard on residents but we all need to make this sacrifice now to stop the further spread of COVID-19.  

“Now is not the time to let up on public health recommendations including restricting all social gatherings to only immediate household members, wearing a mask, physically distancing yourself from others and washing your hands. There is no doubt this holiday season will look different than in years past, however staying apart now will make it so that when we are able to safely gather again, no one is missing. Together, let’s continue the hard work everyone has done in reducing transmission of COVID-19.” - Mayor Fred Eisenberger