Ford triggers COVID-19 restriction confusion after admitting daughters came to visit him

Premier Doug Ford appears to have broken COVID-19 physical distancing measures prescribed by Ontario’s public health officials, saying his two daughters who live in different households visited his home over Mother’s Day weekend.

Speaking to reporters at his daily briefing Monday, Ford said his family gathering was limited to six people, “direct family” only, with none of his daughters’ husbands or boyfriends present.

“I really trust the judgment of the people of Ontario. If you have an elderly mother or father, and their health isn’t great, I wouldn’t chance it,” Ford said.

“I’d keep with immediate family. That would be my recommendation. I wouldn’t get into the big gatherings,” he said. “That just can’t happen. We want to keep it with immediate family just for a little bit longer.”

Ford made the comments just days after Ontario’s chief medical officer of health expressed concern that some 55 per cent of new coronavirus infections are still being contracted through community spread. 

WATCH | Ford says his daughters visited over Mother’s Day weekend:

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said two of his daughters, who don’t live with him, came to visit recently. “Use your best judgment,” he said about visiting family and elderly parents. “I’d keep with the immediate family.” 1:43

As for whether Ontarians could, as some other provinces have, begin expanding their so-called physical bubble to include other households, the province’s chief medical officer Dr. David Williams said Thursday:

“The key public health measure, as you recall, was the requirement for people to — except in the family unit or bubble — stay six feet away, ideally stay home, have very little interaction that would bring you in proximity of people closer than six feet. And that is still in place at this time.”

Ontario’s COVID-19 website, meanwhile states: “Everyone in Ontario should practice physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people — this means staying at least two metres away from anyone outside your household.”

Asked how Ford’s behaviour lined up with public health guidance on physical distancing, the premier’s office said a statement, “We understand that people want to spend more time with their friends, family and loved ones. Thanks to our collective efforts, we are now in a position where we can start to plan to ease public health measures.”

“As we do, we continue to rely on Ontarians to use their best judgment when interacting with individuals from outside their household, e.g., staying six feet apart, ensuring people are symptom free, and continuing to practice proper hygiene.”

Dr. Williams is set to hold a news conference Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. CBC News is carrying the news conference live here.


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