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Aug. 3, 2020 | Monday
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COVID-19: Mayor makes video plea to tourists: Stay away
The town has installed electric signs asking visitors to stay home and pointing out there is no public washrooms. (Richard Harley/Niagara Now/The Lake Report)

After another weekend onslaught of unwanted visitors to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Lord Mayor Betty Disero says she is not yet fed up but she is “on a mission” and won’t be distracted from trying to get people to stay home.

The Town of NOTL released a new video Wednesday afternoon featuring the lord mayor and acting senior enforcement officer Henry Boese warning of increased patrols and decreased patience.

With concerns about people who are asymptomatic or others who could spread COVID-19, Disero emphasized she wants people to postpone a visit to town.

“Come later on, once we’ve gotten beyond the coronavirus crisis,” she says in the video.

“We do not want to go through a second wave here,” Disero told The Lake Report in an interview.

The town has already declared a municipal state of emergency, closed municipal parking lots, public washrooms and encouraged social distancing measures.

As well, last week the town installed electronic signs along roads into town asking visitors to stay home and warning that no public washrooms are available.

In the video, Disero outlines a list of concerns behind the town’s mlatest actions.

“We have been trying to act in a common sense approach,” she says.

“Do we know where tourists are coming from? Do we know if they are coming from high-risk areas? Do we know if they may be asymptomatic? Do we know if they’ll be shopping at stores on Queen Street? Do we know what the impact will be should the virus spread throughout the community?”

Boese said deterrence and enforcement will be stepped up starting this week.

The town announced a week ago that it would have zero tolerance for people violating provincial orders about crowd sizes and social distancing. Fines of $750 could be levied.

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