Burlington, Milton, Oakville cracking down on 'drive-by' celebrations during COVID-19 pandemic
WIth provincially and regionally mandated social distancing and quarantine requirements in effect while Ontario battles with the wide-spread COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals have compensated with “drive-by” celebrations.
Family and friends are driving by the residence of someone celebrating a special occasion--honking their horns and cheering.
While the City of Burlington acknowledged Thursday that “these drive-by celebrations have a small but powerful, positive influence on the participants, the recipients, as well as the surrounding neighbourhoods”, the city is concerned that that “some of these have grown significantly in size, duration, and frequency”.
“Upon review of provincial emergency orders, any parade larger than five vehicles at one time would be prohibited,” warned the City of Burlington.
“Halton Region Public Health discourages parades but has provided some guidelines below that allow for limited ability for small scale, local processions.”
Provincial emergency orders prohibit any organized public events of more than five people, including a parade. This includes an organized public event in the form of vehicle parades for birthdays or other celebrations of more than five people who not members of a single household.
"These parades have been an awesome idea when they’ve been kept to a certain scale--unfortunately, the larger they get, the harder it is to maintain physical distancing and keep health and safety protocols in place,” added Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed.
“Our focus is on keeping everyone safe and healthy, and I’m very proud of our residents who are thinking of creative ways to socially connect while doing so.”
Halton Region Public Health provided the following recommendations for parade organizers and participants:
- Remain in their vehicle during the entire event
- Do not interact or gather with individuals outside of the vehicles
- Ensure only household members are in the vehicles
- Reduce the need for in-person coordination by providing written or telephone directions in advance
- Limit the distance they are driving
- Consider limiting the number of vehicles permitted
- Continue to follow the rules of the road
- Follow relevant local regulations with respect to events/parades
For more COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, visit Halton Region Public Health www.halton.ca/coronavirus
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