Police say they are prepared to impose fines of up to $ 1,000 for violating a new physical distance by-law passed on Thursday. A law enforcement blitz, announced Thursday, began Friday and takes place over the weekend.
Two people who do not live together and who cannot stand within two meters of each other in a park or public square could be issued a ticket.
Toronto Police Service spokesperson Meaghan Gray said in an email Saturday that 160 officers have been assigned to patrol areas where police have determined that people are violating orders and orders.
Officers were withdrawn from the service’s primary response units, community response units, mounted and maritime units, and members of its parking control unit. Officers also work with municipal by-law officers.
Gray said the blitz is focused in part on meeting the new physical distance regulations.
“Although awareness of this policy is the preferred method of enforcement, if required, $ 1,000 tickets will be issued,” Gray said in the email.
People parking in closed parking lots can also pay $ 100 tickets and be towed.
Police, she added, are also enforcing orders and orders prohibiting social gatherings of more than five people, as well as the use of park equipment that has been closed and non-essential businesses that remain open.
Fines for violating a provincial order under the Emergency Measures Act can range from $ 750 to $ 100,000, including up to a year in prison.
At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, police issued tickets to 21 people for non-compliance, summonses to two companies and nine notices of non-compliance with provincial orders in Toronto.
In addition, the city’s 311 line has received 1,409 complaints of irresponsible or illegal behavior in its parks since the province banned gatherings of more than five people and the city closed park facilities, parking lots and the playgrounds.
The Toronto Public Health Unit announced on Saturday that the city now has 1,026 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 101 cases from Friday.
Of the cases, 823 cases are confirmed and 203 are probable, 66 cases have recovered, 125 are in hospital and 53 are in intensive care units. In Toronto, 25 people died from COVID-19.
Community spread is responsible for 27% of COVID-19 cases in the city.
Mississauga bylaws officers patrol parks
Meanwhile, in Mississauga, city law enforcement officers enforce the rules in 10 “favorite hotspots” where people congregate, said Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
Officers will try to educate people first, but could fine $ 750 for people who “are stubborn and don’t care,” she said.
In a press release, the city of Mississauga said that officers are patrolling the parks to enforce emergency orders to limit gatherings and promote physical removal. They will impose fines of at least $ 750, if applicable, and barricade parking lot entrances. Parked vehicles will be labeled and towed.
“We are in the middle of a health emergency and we need everyone to do their part. While it is exciting that spring has arrived and we all want to enjoy the good weather over the weekend, we cannot enjoy the parks and outdoor spaces as we have in the past, “said Crombie in the communicated.
“I have received countless emails, tweets and messages about people who do not respect physical distance and reports of vandalism in our parks. We have set up an app to protect people – we don’t do it because we want to, we do it because we have to. We ask people to listen and follow the rules. ”
Const. Bancroft Wright, spokesperson for the Peel Regional Police, said that the Peel police could also issue tickets. “We can issue tickets, but our main goal is to educate the public,” he said.
Over 100 vehicles diverted from Humber East, West lots
In a press release released on Saturday, the City of Toronto said law enforcement teams had refused more than 100 vehicles from the East and West Humber parking lots at 1 p.m.
Since March 24, the city’s municipal licensing and standards division has responded to 407 complaints and issued 34 notices of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders.
Since then, the Toronto public health department has visited 409 bars and restaurants identified as not following provincial ordinances. Of the bars and restaurants, 162 were closed and 18 warning letters were issued for failing to stick to delivery and delivery only.
And Toronto Public Health went to 109 companies such as nail salons and hairstyling, shutting down 105 and issuing four warning letters.
According to the city, the new physical distance regulation is in effect for at least the next 30 days.