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City updates enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines

Masks will be enforced on Guelph Transit
masks kids
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Earlier today, the province declared its second state of emergency in response to COVID-19. Enhanced public health and workplace safety measures are in effect for all of Ontario and are anticipated to be in place until at least Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.

The province also issued a stay-at-home order that takes effect 12:01 a.m. Thursday Jan. 14; people should only leave home for groceries, medical appointments, exercise or essential work, and all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

“Most people are following COVID-19 guidelines, and we thank you, but the virus is still here, and still spreading. Staying home, reducing contact with people we don’t live with is our best defense. Let’s keep COVID-19 out of our hospitals so we have beds, doctors and nurses available to care for people with other illnesses,” says Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie. “Local businesses need our support too, remember to shop local, shop safe.”

The City of Guelph will continue working with local social service agencies to ensure the community’s most vulnerable have access to service and support.

Updated approach to enforcement:

The updated emergency order authorizes Guelph Police and Bylaw officers to:

  • Disperse or issue tickets/fines for indoor gatherings involving people who don’t live together

  • Disperse or issue tickets/fines for outdoor gatherings of more than five people who don’t live together

  • Issue tickets/fines to people who refuse to wear a mask or face covering as required.

Failure to comply could result in a $750 fine. Obstructing anyone from perform their duty could result in a $10,000 fine.

Enforcing mandatory masks on Guelph Transit

In addition to regular inspections at large retail stores, the City’s Bylaw officers will further educate Guelph Transit riders about mandatory mask use this week, and actively enforce and issue fines as of Monday, Jan. 18.

“The province is calling for more enforcement and gave us more tools to respond using a fair and reasonable approach. Most people know masks are required on transit, and most people wear them; some have good reasons why they can’t. We’ll use this week to educate riders about possible charges and fines before we start issuing tickets on Monday” says Colleen Clack-Bush, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Guelph’s Public Services.

Parks, playgrounds rinks and trails remain open

The City encourages people to find safe ways to get outside and stay active this winter. Guelph has several winter trails, and portable washrooms are in many parks this winter.

Even outside, people should stay at least two metres away from anyone they don’t live with, and wear masks in places where they may not be able to.

People are asked to avoid crowded areas in parks and trails; try another spot or come back another time. Team sports, practices and games are not permitted during shutdown.

Community outdoor skating rinks

Up to 25 people are allowed on the ice. No reservations needed. Please wear a mask and stay two metres from people you don’t live with. No hockey sticks, pucks, balls or nets on the ice.

Visit for more information.

Market Square skating rink

Open daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (weather permitting).

Up to 25 people are allowed on the ice during each 45-minute skating session. Sessions start at the top of every hour. No reservations needed. Wear a mask on the ice, stay at least two metres from anyone you don’t live with, and leave the ice at the end of your session.

Check the live feed and rink status at

Indoor rinks, sports and recreation facilities

All indoor sports and recreation facilities in Guelph must close during the shutdown including City-owned arenas, pools and recreation centres.

People can visit to register for programs scheduled to start in 2021. If classes are cancelled due to low enrolment or COVID-19 restrictions, the City will issue refunds to registered participants.

When the shutdown is over, the City will consult Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health before reopening facilities and restoring City-run recreation programs.

Building permits, inspections and construction

Guelph will conduct building inspections for permitted construction and continue issuing permits to prepare for future construction projects. Visit  for online services and more information.

City Council and committee meetings

Learn when and how to participate in online City Council and committee meetings at

City Hall

Please consider using the mail slot at the front of City Hall or online services at

ServiceGuelph is selling bus fares and large garbage item tickets and accepting payments for invoices, parking tickets, pet licences, and property taxes at City Hall Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Marriage licences are issued by appointment only.  Visit for more information.

The Guelph Farmers’ Market

Food vendors only. Up to 50 shoppers permitted indoors. Visit for a list of vendors and shopping guidelines.

Guelph Provincial Offences Court

You can pay tickets, request a trial or extension at the Guelph Provincial Offences Court from 8:30-3 p.m. Court proceedings will resume after September 11, 2020. Visit for more information.

Guelph Public Library

All Guelph Public Library branches will offer curbside pickup service only. Visit for hours and guidelines.

Guelph Museums, River Run Centre and Sleeman Centre closed

Check out online exhibits and virtual experiences at

Guelph Transit

Riders must wear masks, essential trips only.

The City asks people not to use public transit if they are feeling unwell or have travelled outside Canada within the past 14 days.

Guelph Transit is running on a 30-minute schedule, Monday to Saturday, and regular Sunday service.

Guelph Waste Resource Innovation Centre

Waste collection will continue, the drop-off will remain open. Please wear a mask. Visit for hours and guidelines.

If anyone in a home is self-isolating due to COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive for COVID-19, or is isolating due to travel outside Canada, they should put all recyclables and garbage in bags in their grey cart, and keep using the green cart as usual.

Shopping during shutdown

Support local. Shop safe. #guelphshops

The City encourages everyone to shop where they live; order online, use curbside pickup or delivery services. For a directory of local shops visit Share photos and stories using #guelphshops.

In-person shopping is permitted at pharmacies, supermarkets, grocery and convenience stores primarily selling food; indoor shopping limited to 50% of capacity.

Restaurants and bars can continue take out, drive through, and delivery services.

All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.

No indoor gatherings at home during shutdown

Do not visit any other household or allow visitors in your home. If you live alone, consider having close contact with only one other household.

Up to five people can gather outdoors if there is room for people who don’t live together to stay two metres apart.

Report a COVID-19 concern

To report a concern about gatherings or business not following COVID-19 guidelines