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Between Dec. 3-9, city peace officers issued 28 tickets and 371 warnings for violations of COVID-19 orders. Since mandatory masks came into effect in August, the city has issued 30 violation tickets. Half of them have been issued within the last seven days.
Under the new provincial restrictions, all recreation and entertainment venues, personal and wellness services and in-person dining at restaurants must close as of 12:01 a.m. Sunday. Retail businesses can remain open up to 15 per cent of fire code capacity. Outdoor social gatherings are prohibited, but ski hills and outdoor skating rinks can remain open with physical distancing measures in place. These restrictions are in place until at least Jan. 12. Edmonton Public Library’s 21 branches will also need to close Sunday morning.
The city’s five recreation centres and four pools will be closing at the end of Friday, one day before the new rules come into place. These closures will mean temporary layoffs of recreation facility staff, but the number of affected employees wasn’t available Thursday.
“Unfortunately, and many businesses are going though this as well, we will have to take steps to do temporary layoffs. Tough step, tough year. 2020 has been extraordinarily difficult not only on citizens but our staff at the City of Edmonton,” he said. “We’re working through those specifics as we speak, but it’s unfortunately a necessary step to make sure we are following the restrictions that are needed in place at this time.”