Coronavirus: Hamilton to monitor recreational trails for social distancing, says EOC director

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On Thursday, the City of Hamilton closed a portion of the Waterfront Trail in connection with the province's direction to limit the spread of the new coronavirus by banning gatherings of more than five people.

Emergency operations centre (EOC) director Paul Johnson said the closure of the beach trail was in response to the number of people who had reportedly congregated at the city-run space over the last few days, essentially ignoring Ontario's social-distancing order.

"I can tell you all on the beachfront, the situation over the last couple of days was just unacceptable. It was too many people,” Johnson said during the city's COVID-19 update on Thursday.

Johnson says the city is now "monitoring” the remaining walking and cycling paths, like the Red Hill Valley Recreational Trail, and "trying very hard” not to close them down to allow opportunities for people to get outside.

"We're also very cognizant that some of our trails and other amenities, recreation amenities, do offer ways for people to get around the city for a central movement to work or to appointments or to stores such as grocery stores or pharmacies. So I can't tell you where this will stop, quite frankly,” Johnson said.