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Hamilton reinstates $500 tickets for physical distancing violations

Getting within someone’s person 2-metre bubble in public could once again land you with a hefty fine, as Hamilton has reinstated its physical distancing bylaw amid the ongoing risks of the  COVID-19 pandemic.

The bylaw was initially created and passed by Hamilton city council back in April, allowing bylaw officers to issue $500 tickets to those knowingly or intentionally violating physical distancing in public spaces; a safety guideline still being observed by residents as a key means of mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Hamilton.

However, when the bylaw ended on July 24th in line with the province of Ontario ending its state of emergency, discussions resumed among city councillors regarding whether or not the bylaw should be resurrected and extended.

Ultimately, in a special meeting on Thursday, city council voted in favour of reinstating the physical distancing bylaw as COVID-19 continues to be a risk to the Hamilton community.

This bylaw goes in tandem with the other Hamilton bylaw making masks and face coverings mandatory in enclosed public spaces. Public health advises that masks are not a replacement for physical distancing, and that both safety measures should be observed simultaneously.

To date, city bylaw officers have handed out 24 total tickets in the last 4 months to individuals violating physical distancing, and zero tickets to individuals violating the mask bylaw since it was officially enacted a month ago.

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