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Ford Cracking down on large gatherings with stiff fines

Those big backyard raves, like we have seen in Brampton and elsewhere recently, could cost the host or organizers $10,000 under new rules announced by Premier Doug Ford today. Attendees will still face fines of $750 each which are already in effect. In addition the allowed size of gatherings has been slashed. The social gathering limits in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa have been rolled back to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors as of Friday.

Premier Doug Ford said that the new rules apply to social events and gatherings held on private property or in public parks. “We’ve seen two days this week of over 300 new cases, within a 24-hour period,” Ford said. “As a province, we have to help them, all three regions, not just to stop the spread to other parts of Ontario, but to keep everyone safe and healthy.”

In expressing his concern about the disregard some people have been displaying towards social distancing, Ford coined a new phrase to add to the lexicon that includes: ‘not playing with 52 cards,’ ‘elevator doesn’t go to the top,’ and ‘not the coldest beer in the fridge:’

Asked about concerns that social gatherings are undergoing restrictions while schools are operating with what amounts to less social distancing Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Davis Williams, all were quick to explain the distinction. They said that backyard gatherings are completely unrestricted with people not wearing masks, embracing, shouting and dancing—”swinging from the trees” as the Premier put it; compared to schools where students are under teacher supervision, masked, studying in cohorts, sanitizing hands and not going to school if they have symptoms.

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