Hamilton might extend its physical distancing bylaw

Though physical distancing has become an integral part of the current realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton’s bylaw enforcing proper physical distancing – which was originally instated back in April – quietly lapsed in July.

However, city council plans to vote on the issue again on Monday to determine whether or not Hamilton’s physical distancing bylaw will be renewed.

The existing bylaw meant that locals could potentially be fined for getting within the public health-recommended two metres of physical distance from people not within their own household or 10-person social circle. The local bylaw ended in line with the province’s state of emergency ending on July 24th.

To date, Hamilton’s law enforcement have issued 133 fines related to physical distancing violations; fines that could be as high as $10,000 for an individual’s first offence and $25,000 for any further offences. Corporations could see fines as high as $50,000 for the same.

Though the city still has a mandatory mask bylaw in place that requires locals to wear a mask or face covering in enclosed public spaces, public health has advised that masks are not a replacement for proper physical distancing, and that both safety measures should be observed in tandem.

Hamilton’s current total number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases is 908, with 841 of those considered resolved and 45 that resulted in death. There are currently 22 known active cases locally. The city has also been noticing a particular trend in new cases among residents in their 20s.

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