Violating physical distancing in Kingston will net you a $880 fine, city’s police say

Click to play video '$880 fine for violating physical distancing in Kingston' $880 fine for violating physical distancing in Kingston
WATCH: Kingston police and surrounding forces will issue hefty tickets to those gathering with more than five people. – Apr 6, 2020

Kingston police, with assistance from City of Kingston bylaw enforcement, are on the lookout for people breaking the physical distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of March 30, Kingston police can issue a fine of $880 to those who are gathering with more than five people in accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

READ MORE: Organizer of parking lot party fined for not adhering to social distancing rules: Belleville police

Essentially, anyone who is with two or more residents who don’t live in the same household and are within two metres of each other will be issued a ticket.

This comes after Mayor Bryan Paterson declared a state of emergency for Kingston to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

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Staff Sgt. Jody Armstrong with Kingston police told Global News that his staff has yet to issue a fine. Instead, they give the public a warning first.

“We’ve received 75 phone calls reporting people violating the physical distancing,” said Armstrong.

In Belleville Ont., a 21-year-old man is facing a fine after he allegedly organized a party of 25 people in a local parking lot on Sunday night.

This was the first fine handed out in the Belleville area, police said Monday.

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Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer of health for the Kingston area, told reporters that the number of cases is plateauing, but says over the next few weeks people must take all precautions.

“We can’t let our guard down. If we let our guard down, especially in the next several weeks with any religious events, we could see it escalate again,” said Dr. Moore.

According to Kingston police, if people plan to hold holiday dinners and parties, officers have the authority to go onto private property and fine those not following physical distancing regulations.