The provincial government announced that Hamilton will return to the Red – Control category under the Province’s COVID-19 Response Framework. This change will come into effect on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 12 a.m.

The Red – Control category has stringent measures and restrictions across multiple sectors to help control the spread of COVID-19. These measures continue to be the most severe available before there are widescale business and organizational closures.

Some key changes as Hamilton enters the Red – Control category include:
• Limits for all organized public events and social gatherings are set at 5 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
• Restaurants can reopen with capacity limits of 10 patrons seated indoors. Outdoor dining, take out, drive through and delivery are permitted. A limit of 4 people may be seated together, and face coverings are required except when eating or drinking.
• Sports and recreational fitness facilities may reopen, with capacity limits of 10 people in indoor areas with weights and exercise machines, 10 people in all indoor classes, or 25 people in outdoor classes. Participants must maintain two metres of physical distancing at all times, and that spacing is increased to three metres in areas where there are weights or exercise equipment, and in exercise and fitness classes.
• Retail establishments may reopen with capacity limits and health screening. Capacity limits must be posted publicly and are:
o 75% for supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores, pharmacies
o 50% for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and garden centres
• Most personal care services may reopen
• More information on other changes in the Red – Control category can be found here: COVID-19 Response Framework

IMPACTS TO CITY SERVICES
Beginning Wednesday, February 17, a number of City services can be accessed in-person by appointment only. Residents can make an appointment by calling 905 546 (CITY). This includes:
• Services at City Hall, including the Planning & Economic Development and Hamilton Business Centre service counters
• Services at the Municipal Service Centres
• The Provincial Offences Administration Office
• Animal Services
• Licensing counters
• Residents are encouraged to access municipal services online where available: www.hamilton.ca/onlinecityservices
o IMPORTANT: Property owners who don’t pay their property taxes through a monthly payment plan or through a mortgage company are required to pay the first installment of their 2021 property tax by February 26, 2021. Options to pay property taxes:
 Pre-authorized debit payment plans
 At a bank
 By mail
 By telephone or online banking
 In person at City Hall or Municipal Service Centres – Appointment is required.
o Residents can call 905 546 CITY (2489) or visit hamilton.ca/PayYourPropertyTax for more information.
• Some City services remain unavailable at this time, including municipal marriage ceremonies.
• Select Hamilton Civic Museums will reopen by appointment in early March
• The Gage Park Tropical Greenhouse will reopen on a limited schedule, open to limited visitors on Friday, Saturday and Sundays only, beginning Friday, February 19.
• In addition to the ongoing outdoor recreation programs already running at this time, a number of recreation programs will be available for residents to access in person, including:
o Winter Golf and Disc Golf will be available at Chedoke Golf Course beginning February 16. Disc lending will be available February 20.
o Indoor arenas will be available for ice rental. Some will be available as of February 22 with additional arenas becoming available on March 1 if there is enough demand.
o Indoor pools will be available for open swim and lengths swim in a phased reopening approach beginning in early March, with additional pools reopening later in March. Visit www.hamilton.ca/recreation for details.
o Open gym programming will reopen on in mid-March for groups of 10 or less.
o Seniors Services will reopen for small group reservations in mid-March for groups of 10 or less.
o Please note that access to recreation programs will be restricted to residents of the City of Hamilton and Hamilton-based organizations or sports clubs.

FAMILY DAY
As a reminder, at this time, it is illegal to attend or host indoor gatherings, and outdoor gatherings have a maximum of 5 people. Our enforcement teams will be out in full force over the weekend, continuing to assertively enforce the Stay at Home orders. We know that times like this can be hard for many of us, and it’s easy to feel isolated. We encourage you to check in with your loved ones virtually this year, in order to do your part in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

See you next week!

Thank you,
The Hamilton Responds Team

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