Still standing Within 2 Metres of Each Other?

Still standing within 2 metres of each other? That could cost you $5K under new bylaw, Tory says

Mayor announced new anti-crowding measure Thursday to battle COVID-19

In Toronto's bid to stop the spread of COVID-19, city officials announced a new bylaw Thursday that prohibits people from standing within two metres of each other in some parts of the city — and failing to comply could mean a fine of up to $5,000.

Mayor John Tory, joined by Toronto's medical officer of health and fire chief, announced the change at their daily news conference on the city's response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The bylaw, which will remain in effect for at least the next 30 days, is limited to interactions in city parks and squares. That's where city officials say they are seeing the most problem with crowding. It's also limited to two or more people who don't live together.

"Lives are potentially at stake and we'll turn up the heat," Tory said.

"We will continue to do everything we can as a municipal government to lock down the city to save lives."

The enhanced restrictions and recommendations released by Toronto Public Health on Wednesday advise people to limit their time outdoors to essential trips, but the guidelines still allow for walking pets or getting daily exercise so long as physical distancing of two metres is possible.

Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa described those non-essential outings as "reasonable things to do while trying to stay home as much as possible."

But Tory pointed to crowded parks, singling out Sunnyside Park on the lakefront, to suggest that some residents are not taking the rules seriously enough.

"It's not saying you can't go outside, it's just saying that in places where people congregate, they can't do that right now," Tory said on Metro Morning.