As of Friday July 24, the City of Hamilton moved into Stage 3 of the provincial government’s reopening framework. There are a few additional details to share with you including Child Care, MPAC, SEAT permit applications available in August, etc.
Most businesses and public spaces are now allowed to reopen, with public health and workplace safety restrictions in place. Gathering limits are now allowed to increase to a maximum of 50 people indoors and a maximum of 100 people outdoors, with physical distancing in place. For more information about the province’s reopening framework for Stage 3: https://www.ontario.ca/page/framework-reopening-our-province-stage-3#section-3.
Play Structures Reopened:
The City of Hamilton is reopening all play structures as part of Stage 3- PLEASE BE PATIENT. There are more than 300 parks across the city, some with multiple play structures. Staff have been working diligently to get to all parks. All signage and caution tape are being removed and residents will be able to use the play structures. However, users are reminded to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others and wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when finished.
Beginning Monday (July 27), all child care centres, regardless of what Stage they are in, are permitted to operate with continued strict safety and operational requirements in place with cohorts of 15 children, which is an increase from the current cohort cap of 10.
City Hall Reopening:
The first and second floors of City Hall ONLY are now open. Building, Planning, zoning and more departments above the 2nd floor will not be open at this time but still continue to work remotely. Several changes are place, including enhanced cleaning, measures to ensure physical distancing, efforts to encourage good hand hygiene and limit the spread of the virus, health screening for those working or visiting City Hall, and more. The public must enter through any of the doors on the first floor. Ample signage and floor markings are in place to ensure it is clear where everyone should enter the building, stand in line, or access City services. Masks are required in the public areas on the first and second floor of City Hall.Services available on the first floor include
- Marriage licenses
- Tax payments
- Provincial Offences Act (POA) fines
- Parking fines
- Animal licenses
- Planning and Building Services counter (pick up and drop off documents/plans only)
The Councillor will continue to meet residents that need assistance as previously done within the community, please contact 905 546 2713 to set up an appointment. Masks will be worn and physical distancing of two meters will be respected.
Restart of Park and SEAT Permit Applications:
Beginning in August, the City will once again accept applications for permits to hold events in municipal parks (such as family picnics), and Special Event Advisory Team (SEAT) applications for events with 100 people or less.
Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) resuming interactions with property owners:
In mid-June, MPAC resumed exterior property inspections in some communities, including Hamilton, after pausing the service for three months due to COVID-19. At that time, staff were not interacting with property owners, knocking on doors or entering buildings. Starting July 6, MPAC employees are now conducting property inspections in all communities that have reached Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan and will be proactively interacting with property owners and seeking permission to walk around the exterior of the property and measure structures. They have undertaken mandatory PPE training, conduct a daily COVID-19 self-assessment and will be observing health and safety guidelines around physical distancing when conducting inspections.
Mandatory Mask By-Law:
All persons entering an enclosed public premise are required to wear a mask or face covering. As more establishments and businesses begin to re-open, Councillor Partridge would like to urge the public to be respectful as residents and businesses seek to comply with the by-law to protect all of us from COVID-19.A number of exemptions have been considered and included in the by-law, since not every person can participate in wearing a mask or face covering. A self-declaration of exemption is acceptable and sufficient. It’s vital that no member of the public be denied entry or stigmatized if they are unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a listed exemption. We ask for patience and kindness as everyone adjusts and navigates through this new norm.
What remains closed:
High-risk places and activities such as buffet-style food services; dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment; overnight stays at camps for children; private karaoke rooms; amusement parks and water parks; prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports; saunas, steam rooms, bath houses, and oxygen bars and table games at casinos and gaming establishments.
For more information, please visit Hamilton.ca/reopens.
Please keep safe and protect yourselves. If you have any questions or need anything during this time, please send me an email at Judi.Partridge@hamilton.ca. Christine, Veronica and I are here to help you.
Councillor Judi Partridge