How will Guelph enforce provincial emergency orders?

Joint statement from Guelph Police Service, City of Guelph and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

Guelph, Ont., January 13, 2021 – The provincial government is calling for more enforcement of public health and safety measures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enhanced public health and workplace safety measures are in effect for all of Ontario and expected to be in place until at least Tuesday, February 9, 2021.

Most people are following COVID-19 guidelines – thank you

Thankfully, most people in Guelph have been following the guidelines and doing their part to protect themselves, their families and our community. All the changes to gathering limits, essential businesses, rules for schools, shopping, restaurants, sports and recreation have been overwhelming. But most people understand the underlying idea is to reduce contact with people they don’t live with.

Now, hospitals and healthcare workers across Ontario are struggling. They need every one of us doing everything we can to slow the spread of COVID-19, so we have beds, doctors and nurses available to care for people with other illnesses.

Updated emergency orders

Guelph Police and Bylaw officers are now authorized to:

  • Disperse or issue tickets/fines for indoor gatherings involving people who don’t live together
  • Disperse or issue tickets/fines for outdoor gatherings of more than five people who don’t live together
  • Issue tickets/fines to people who refuse to wear a mask or face covering as required indoors and on public transit

While we have new tools to enforce provincial orders, we know people may be unaware or confused about what is or isn’t permitted. Local police and bylaw officers are hoping people will cooperate voluntarily, but are prepared to issue fines as appropriate.

Proactive and responsive approach

As a start, Guelph Bylaw officers will focus on ensuring large retail stores are in compliance with new emergency orders, and reminding people that masks or face coverings are required on Guelph Transit. Starting Monday, January 18, transit riders who refuse to wear a mask on the bus could be fined $750. Bylaw officers will also respond to concerns about large gatherings.

We want people to get out for work, groceries, healthcare and exercise as needed. There is no requirement for everyone to be home at a certain time of day.

Guelph Police and Bylaw officers may disperse crowds, but will not randomly stop people while they’re out driving, walking, running, cycling, skating etc.

Set fines

  • Failure to comply could result in a $750 fine
  • Obstructing anyone from performing an activity could result in a $1000 fine
  • Obstructing anyone from perform their duty could result in a $10,000 fine

Report a concern

Learn more about Ontario’s enhanced public health and workplace safety measures

To report a concern about gatherings or business not following COVID-19 guidelines

Provincial regulations

Provincial emergency order O Reg. 82/20 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17

Provincial stay-at-home order O Reg. 11/21 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.9

Media contacts

Scott Tracey, Media Relations Coordinator
Guelph Police Service
519-824-1212 extension 7190
[email protected]

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

Danny Williamson, Communications Specialist
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
1-800-265-7293 extension 4376
[email protected]