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Premier cuts social gathering limits for all province: 'alarm bells are ringing'

Premier Doug Ford announced today the government is limiting informal gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
Screen Shot 2020-09-19 at 11.18.33 AM
 Dr. Barbara Yaffe, associate medical officer of health, Premier Doug Ford, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott. Screenshot

Today the provincial government has lowered social gathering sizes for every region in Ontario. 

Premier Doug Ford began his announcement today noting there are 407 new cases. 

"Folks, the alarm bells are ringing," said Ford. 

He said any informal social gatherings anywhere in Ontario now may not exceed 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. This does not apply to commercial facilities such as event spaces, gyms, and church gatherings. 

There will be a fine of at least $10,000 for anyone organizing an informal gathering over the new limits, and people attending such gatherings can also be "slapped" with a $750 fine. 

"This is geared to the wild parties out there ... it's a deterrent," said Ford.

On Thursday, Ford announced limits to informal gatherings in certain "hot spots" in the province. Today, the order extends to every region in Ontario. 

Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health  Dr. Barbara Yaffe said the recommendation to go province-wide was precautionary. 

"People are not clear what it means to have a social gathering," said Yaffe, reminding the public they should still be wearing a mask and keeping their distance at any social gathering with anyone outside their exclusive social circle. 

The premier clarified further.

"Folks, we can't have these wild parties right now, it's just way too risky," said Ford. "We have to keep physical distance and we have to keep vigilant."

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said the government is doing what it feels is necessary to protect the public. 

"We cannot risk our hard-earned progress," said Elliott, noting the new gathering limits apply to "unmonitored private social gatherings."


Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter, photographer and community editor.
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