April 3, 2020, Simcoe, ON – Haldimand-Norfolk’s Medical Officer of Health has issued two orders aimed at enhancing public health measures by deterring non-essential visits to Haldimand and Norfolk counties. These are part of a suite of steps being taken to advance social distancing efforts.

The first order prohibits short-term rentals of hotels, motels, cottages, trailer parks and recreational vehicles. The second order closes all recreational facilities including trails and trail systems. Failure to comply with these restrictions will result in fines of up to $5,000 per day.

“Social distancing represents our best defense against the spread of the coronavirus. I recognize Haldimand County and Norfolk County are popular tourist destinations. However, we are in extraordinary times. In the context of the rapid increase in cases and resultant deaths, it is essential to reduce unnecessary travel. The substantive goal is to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community,says Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, Medical Officer of Health.

Gatherings of more than five people and the closure of non-essential businesses continue to be prohibited under provincial order.

“We are in a state of emergency, and it’s about time people started acting like it,” says Kristal Chopp, Chair of the Haldimand-Norfolk Board of Health. “I hope these new measures demonstrate just how seriously our residents need to take this pandemic. Please do your part and stay home. It will save lives.”

The Health Unit has set up a COVID-19 enforcement hotline, aimed at helping staff respond to violations of public health orders.

Residents who want to report violations can call 519-428-8019.