Guelph increasing enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines at stores and shopping malls

City responding to increasing concerns about crowded stores

Guelph, Ont., November 25, 2020 – The City of Guelph’s Bylaw team is reminding retail stores and shopping centres about COVID-19 guidelines, and increasing inspections as the holiday shopping season gets underway.

Stores should have hand sanitizer at every entrance, limit the number of customers inside, have measures in place to keep people least two metres apart, and employees and shoppers should be wearing masks as required.

The City is prepared to issue fines for significant or repeat violations. Fines for violating a provincial order under the Emergency Measures Act can range from $750 to $100,000.

The City is also hearing concerns about people coming to Guelph to shop because of higher restrictions or lockdowns in other communities.

“To echo the words of Ontario’s Premier and Chief Medical Officer of Health, we’re all in this together,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “We are trusting people to do the right thing and only travel when it’s necessary.”

“No matter where people are from, they should be following guidelines from public health officials to keep themselves and others safe,” added Doug Godfrey, General Manager of Guelph’s Operations Department.

According to Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open, businesses in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph must follow guidelines for level orange/restrict.

Shop local. Shop safe.

“Local businesses are the livelihood of our community and supporting local has never been more important. We encourage Guelphites to shop, eat, and support local, whenever they can. We applaud businesses in Guelph who have pivoted their operations to ensure a safe customer experience, including options for shopping online and curbside pickup. We encourage all businesses to continue to implement the recommended safety protocols outlined by public health,” says Shakiba Shayani, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce.

Share photos and stories online using #Guelphshops

A directory of local stores and services is available at Business can add a listing from the website, or email [email protected].

Shoppers can promote their local favourites by sharing photos and stories online using #Guelphshops.

COVID-19 cases increasing in Guelph

“As we enter the holiday season, we must remain vigilant. COVID is still circulating in our community and cases are rising. As a community, we want to stay as open as possible, support local businesses and keep all of us safe. To do that, we need to continue to adhere to the public health measures that protect the patrons and staff of our local businesses. I thank the members of our local business community and the City’s Bylaw team for everything they’re doing to protect residents of Guelph,” says Dr. Nicola Mercer, Chief Medical Officer for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health recommendations

  • stay at home, especially if you feel sick
  • wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer
  • if you must go out, avoid crowded places, stay two metres (6.5 feet) away from people you don’t live with
  • wear a mask or face covering in places where you may not be able to stay two metres away from others
  • follow guidelines at work and at school, and avoid social gatherings with people you don’t live with; bubbles and social circles are not recommended


Report a COVID-19 violation

To report a concern about a large gathering or business not following COVID-19 guidelines:

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Media Contact

Stacey Hare
Corporate Communications and Customer Service
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2611
[email protected]