Toronto police are adopting stricter enforcement measures to stop the spread of COVID-19


Toronto police are ramping up their crackdown on people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously.

Police Chief Mark Saunders said in a Saturday afternoon news conference that officers would immediately be moving away from education and awareness and instead be adopting more strident enforcement of emergency laws meant to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The police service has repeatedly been advising people to stay two metres away from each other if they do not live together, but has seen many violating the request.

“We have seen numerous occasions where there are multiple families that are together and they don’t get it or we will see people playing soccer games or things along those lines and we have to do everything we can to make the message loud and clear,” said Saunders.

Mayor John Tory  has called for stricter enforcement of COVID-19 measures  in a letter he sent to Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and Carleton Grant, the municipal licensing and standards executive director.

In his letter, the mayor said he believes the time has come for more tickets because authorities are still having informational chats with hundreds of people who aren’t physical distancing.

Tory saaid the city has received reports of people who don’t live together hosting bonfires on the beach, hanging out in groups in parking lots and playing pickup sports in closed areas.

While the mayor cannot direct law enforcement on how to enforce the law, he says stricter enforcement would protect the city’s health and help it expedite a return to normal.

COVID-19 has killed more than 75 people in Toronto.