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GTHA Mayors and Chairs support increased limits on public gatherings

HAMILTON, ON -Today, Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area met to discuss the continuing response to COVID-19 and a possible resurgence.

The Mayors and Chairs welcomed the provincial government's decision to limit the size of private social gatherings to 25 people outside and 10 people indoors.

This measure is based on public health advice and we believe it will help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. It also sends a message to people that everyone needs to be cautious and make sure they are following public health advice as we move into the fall and winter.

The Mayors and Chairs remind residents that beyond complying with these limits it is still best to follow physical distancing with people from outside your household in private homes and to wear masks at such social gatherings, small as they may be.

Concern was also expressed by the group about those restaurants who may be slipping on some elements of compliance such as maximum number of people at a table, overall restaurant capacity limits and physical distancing and masking inside restaurants. While acknowledging the business struggles being faced by these establishments, compliance is still preferable to another lockdown which we must do everything possible to avoid.

In expressing gratitude to the vast majority of people and businesses who are following the rules, the Mayors and Chairs also welcomed the substantial penalties introduced by the province for non-compliance which are necessary in light of the continuing actions of a few.

“The provincial government’s recent limitations on public gatherings is about public safety and preventing a further shutdown of our economy. Municipalities are in a precarious time and we must collectively remain vigilant in our efforts to contain the spread of the virus. Community members are reminded to continue to adhere to the health and safety recommendations from public health experts, including the new size limitations to public gatherings, or receive substantial monetary fines. I thank the vast majority of people who are following and continue to follow the necessary COVID-19 safety measures.”

- Mayor Fred Eisenberger