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COVID-19 enforcement task force to increase inspection activity this weekend to ensure compliance



Newmarket – As part of York Regional Council’s commitment to keep our communities safe from COVID-19, members of the COVID-19 enforcement task force are increasing inspection activity this weekend to ensure compliance.

Most businesses across York Region are adhering to COVID-19 safety measures and protocols, however there is an increasing number of complaints from the public about overcrowding in malls, big box and retails stores.

Beginning tomorrow on Black Friday and throughout the weekend, officers from the COVID-19 task force will visit malls, big box and retail stores, restaurants, food premises, fitness centres and various other locations to ensure public health measures are being met.

Task force members are composed of representatives of Bylaw officers from all nine municipalities in the Region, York Region Public Health Inspectors, York Regional Police, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and Provincial Offense Act court prosecutions.

Increased enforcement this weekend will also be in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, conducting a weekend community safety campaign across York Region businesses.

Businesses failing to keep their customers and employees safe by not adhering to the mandated COVID-19 safety measures will be subject to fines. Repeat offenders could face temporary closure.

It will be a different shopping experience this season.

One of the busiest shopping weekends begins tomorrow, and as we move into the holiday season it’s important to be cautious as we continue to experience an increase of COVID-19 in our communities.

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home as much as possible. However, we recognize sometimes that is not possible.

Here’s some tips to shop safely this weekend and throughout the holidays:

  • Before going out make sure what you’re looking for cannot be ordered online from a local business
  • If you must go into a store, try and time your trip for off-peak hours where it will be easier to maintain physical distancing with others
  • Inquire about curbside pick-up and other safety shopping measures the store has in place
  • Plan and know what you need from each store to limit the amount of time you spend there
  • Follow the rules set out by the store and please be patient if waiting in line due to occupancy limits
  • Follow directional arrows and store signs set out by staff as these are in place for everyone’s safety
  • A face mask or covering is required while in public spaces, including retail stores
  • Know the new regulations required of malls and retailers

To remain open and avoid charges, businesses must comply with all requirements set out under the Reopening Ontario Act and the Section 22 Class Order

Between Thursday, November 19 to Sunday, November 22, York Region Public Health Inspectors conducted 32 inspections to restaurants, big-box stores, supermarkets, fitness facilities and karaoke bars, resulting in 22 charges laid at 19 premises.

Guidance and resources to help businesses operate more safely during COVID-19 are available at Ontario.ca/covidsafety and york.ca/preventcovid19atwork

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 54,000 businesses with 650,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices

Media Contact

Ben Mulholland
Communications Advisor, Corporate Communications
The Regional Municipality of York
1-877-464-9675 ext. 76664 - Cell: 289-716-9605
ben.mulholland@york.ca

COVID19 The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release