COVID-19 guidelines still in place even on St. Patrick’s Day, Guelph officials say

Guelph police say extra officers have been called in for St. Patrick’s Day as a precautionary measure, but the hope is that residents are using common sense given that we are still in a pandemic.

Spokesperson Scott Tracey said the service is hopeful that the community continues to follow all public health guidelines when it comes to COVID-19.

This includes celebrating with those in the same house and avoiding large gatherings.

Read more: City, health officials hope for quiet 2021 St. Patrick’s Day in London

“Any large crowds are not only forbidden by the provincial regulations but are bad ideas as far as public health issues go,” Tracey said in a phone call on Tuesday.

“We recognize that people do want to celebrate but we encourage them to do so safely.”

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St. Patrick’s Day usually sees an increase in calls for service, which is why extra officers are being called in, Tracey said.

“Not last year because everything was in lockdown and it was all so fresh,” he said.

Guelph is currently in the red level of the province’s COVID-19 response plan, which means bars and restaurants can allow 10 people in at a time. Indoor gatherings are restricted to just five people at a time.

Tracey said that along with extra Guelph police officers on duty, extra bylaw officers are also working on Wednesday.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: New St. Patrick’s Day health orders aim to curb gatherings, parties'
Coronavirus: New St. Patrick’s Day health orders aim to curb gatherings, parties

The University of Guelph said extra campus police officers have been called in as well.

Spokesperson Deirdre Healey said emails have gone out to students reminding them to follow public health guidelines.

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Read more: Don’t plan a St. Patrick’s Day party, Ottawa health officials urge

“In our communications, we have also reminded students of the enforcement measures in place to ensure COVID-19 protocols are followed including fines for social gatherings both on and off campus,” she said in an email.

Any complaints about noise or large gatherings can be reported to 519-824-1212.

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