Mississauga residents urged to avoid parties with family and friends as holidays approach

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December 16 marked the second consecutive day the number of new COVID-19 cases surpassed 2,000, which is cause for concern.

With York Region having just been relegated to the Grey-Lockdown Level of the Government of Ontario's Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, it seems unlikely Mississauga will be allowed to move out of lockdown on the proposed date of December 21.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie has already suggested she believes Mississauga will remain in lockdown until at least the new year, due to the fact several holidays are coming up, and many may feel encouraged to visit family or friends should restrictions ease.

Additionally, recent data has indicated people from regions currently in lockdown have been moving east and west to regions not in lockdown, such as Halton, which remains in the Red-Control zone, and York Region, which was previously in the Red-Control zone, but has since been moved to the Grey-Lockdown zone.

Further, since November 23, the City has issued 126 charges and 90 notices of contravention (NOCs) for individuals and businesses violating the Province's regulations for the Region.

Just this past weekend (December 12 to 13), the City issued 37 tickets and seven NOCs. The majority of tickets were issued to individuals--only four were issued to non-essential businesses, the remaining 33 were issued to individuals at private gatherings at four separate locations.

Because of this, Crombie is urging residents to adhere to the restrictions in place, and refrain from attending gatherings during the coming holidays.

"Our enforcement staff are working to enforce these measures, to help keep people safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. I know, as the holidays approach, it is tempting to gather with family and friends, but I want to remind you that these actions will be met with a fine or even worse, the spread of COVID-19 to your family and friends," she said in a news release.

Under the Grey-Lockdown restrictions, no indoor organized events or private gatherings are permitted, unless all those involved are part of the same household.

Moreover, restaurants are prohibited from offering dine-in services, both inside and outside, and non-essential retailers are prohibited from offering in-store shopping, they are permitted only to provide customers with the options of curbside pickup or delivery.

Those who violate these restrictions could face a set fine of $750, while a failure to comply with an emergency order could result in a fine up to $100,000 and up to one year in prison for an individual, $500,000 for a director or officer of a corporation, or $10,000,000 for a corporation upon conviction.

Sam Rogers, the City's director of enforcement is urging those who may be considering violating these restrictions to first think about the people following the rules, who are suffering because of the actions of others.

"The vast majority of businesses and residents are complying but there are no exceptions to the rules. We will continue to enforce and issue tickets to those who violate the restrictions as they put the health and safety of all residents at risk," he said in the same release.

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