Statement from the Mayor of Guelph on COVID-19 enforcement

April 7, 2020

For the past few weeks, I have been working closely with our local public health authorities and the City of Guelph’s emergency management team to respond to this global health crisis.

Our singular goal is to slow the spread of COVID-19 to keep you safe and healthy. But we can’t do it alone. Every person in our community must do their part.

The advice from our Medical Officer of Health could not be more clear:

  • Non-essential businesses must close.
  • Only go out for essential items like groceries and medication.
  • Don’t gather in groups in parks or on trails.
  • Stay at least two metres apart from anyone you don’t live with, and
  • If you don’t absolutely need to leave your house, stay home.

By now, you should all know how critically important it is to follow the rules. It is literally a matter of life or death.

“I’m disappointed to hear that some people still aren’t taking these public health orders seriously. To those individuals, let me be absolutely clear: enough is enough.”

Guelph Police and City bylaw staff are proactively monitoring and responding to reports from the community of non-compliance. They have the authority to enforce the rules by writing tickets and issuing fines, and they won’t hesitate to do so.

Fines range from $750 per person for attending a social gathering of five or more people, playing sports on a closed field, or failing to identify yourself to an enforcement officer, up to $1,000 for obstructing an enforcement officer, plus a victim surcharge of between $125 and $250. Bylaw staff can also issue a summons for failure to comply with an emergency order, with fines up to $100,000 for an individual and $10 million for a corporation.

If you have questions or want more information about how the City is responding to COVID-19 and enforcing public health orders, visit

Now is the time to buckle down, stay home, and flatten the curve. The health of our entire community depends on it.

On behalf of Guelph City Council and City staff, thank you.

Cam Guthrie