The new regional private indoor and outdoor gathering restrictions and stronger enforcement of the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law have now been implemented to respond to the recent resurgence of positive COVID-19 cases in Ottawa.
Regional indoor and outdoor gathering restrictions applied to Ottawa
As Ottawa joins Toronto and Peel regions as COVID-19 hotspots, the Province of Ontario has restricted gatherings at private residences to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors.
This restriction is supported by data that shows the majority of cases are a result of close contacts in private social gatherings, such as parties and large barbecues.
The restrictions also apply to functions, parties, dinners, gatherings or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas.
Failure to comply to these restrictions can result in a $10,000 fine.
The new limits will not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres or banquet halls, gyms, and recreational sporting or performing art events. Existing rules for these businesses and facilities, including public health and workplace safety measures, continue to be in effect.
However, the City’s By-law and Regulatory Services will be stepping up enforcement to ensure businesses comply with provincial and local health guidelines and regulations – including access to hand sanitizers, signage and masking requirements.
City steps up enforcement for Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law
With the temporary mask by-law being in place for the past two months, the City’s By-law and Regulatory Services will be stepping up its enforcement, moving away from warnings to issuing charges with fines. More than 250 warnings have been issued since the by-law was enacted on July 15.
People who are not exempt from the by-law and fail to wear a mask can receive a $240 fine, including a victim surcharge. Businesses or property owners who fail to comply with the by-law can receive a fine of $490, including a victim surcharge.
The decision to issue a ticket will be based on whether a warning is deemed insufficient or if the individual or business is a repeat offender.
In addition to the masking requirements and private gathering restrictions, residents are reminded to remain COVIDwise to protect themselves and those around them:
- Isolate yourself if you’re feeling sick
- Stay two metres apart from those outside of your household
- Exercise proper hand hygiene.