Due to the need to implement heavier measures to have citizens follow the Government of Quebec's decision to ban all gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, the City of Montreal has closed île Notre Dame, the Atwater footbridge, and the parking lots for Mount Royal. This was put into effect as of 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, April 5. There is now a stronger police presence in all Montreal parks as well.

The reasoning behind the closure of île Notre-Dame and parking for Mount Royal, the City announced in a news release, is that the beautiful weather on Saturday, April 4 left many people strolling through Mount Royal park — even individuals who live outside of the city. 

The Government of Quebec has continuously asked that individuals do not travel in different regions of Quebec unless it is for essential travel. 

On April 3, Mayor Valérie Plante asked that all Montrealers remain in their own neighbourhoods, as the city's state of emergency was extended.

And now, the request from the City of Montreal is that we stay as close to our homes as possible.

In this news release, the City wrote "Note that we strongly advise you to avoid non-essential travel. Therefore, we encourage people to frequent the parks near their homes."

An official announcement on the City of Montreal's Twitter  account was put out at 8:30 a.m. on April 5.

The tweet confirms that these new measures are in line with the Government of Quebec's banning of all gatherings.

And, it seems Mount Royal Park wasn't the only public spot that had people disregarding the social distancing measures put in place by the government.

"In addition, the SPVM had to intervene at the Lachine canal on Saturday. For this reason, the Atwater crossing is closed for an indefinite period," the City of Montreal wrote.

Therefore, to add to the list, the Atwater crossing is also closed for the time being.

And now, the SPVM and the Sûreté du Québec officers have permission to give immediate tickets between $1000 to $6000 to anyone who fails to follow social distancing guidelines.

And, there is now a much larger police presence in all Montreal parks.

So, to confirm, Mount Royal Park remains open, but its parking lots are closed. This is in hopes of only having people who live close to this park frequent it.

And, île Notre-Dame is completely closed due to the high number of people frequenting it on Saturday, April 4, which left many unable to follow social distancing guidelines.

The City ended its news release with an important message. "Montréal reminds you that preventing the spread of the disease is everyone's responsibility."

Now is the time for Montrealers to work together — by staying apart. The sooner we follow the rules, the sooner our lives can get back to normal.

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