Coronavirus: Haldimand, Norfolk counties limit gatherings, warn of fines for not self-isolating

The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s medical officer of health got tough on residents over the weekend in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic, issuing orders to limit gatherings and warning of large fines for returning travellers who don’t self-isolate.

In a release, Dr. Shanker Nesathurai set a limit on how many residents can congregate in public spaces in Norfolk and Haldimand counties, saying gatherings cannot exceed 10 people, including at playgrounds, parks, piers and beaches.

He also warned of a $5,000-per-day fine for those caught at work or in the community without self-isolating for 14 days after returning from travel.

“This order prohibits you from travelling outside of your home while this order is in effect, with the only exception being to seek medical assessment and/or treatment,” Nesathurai said in the release on Sunday.

Nesathurai asked employers to follow guidelines and discourage workers from coming to work who have just returned from travel.

He also ordered all personal services, including esthetic services, to shut down immediately.

The order applies to all tattoo parlours, barbershops, hair and nail salons, spas, tanning salons and banquet halls in Haldimand and Norfolk counties.

The order is effective until rescinded by the health unit’s medical officer of health.

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in Haldimand or Norfolk counties.

However, both counties activated their emergency operations centres on Friday and set up care centres as a precaution at the Dunnville Memorial Arena and Port Dover Arena.

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