LONDON ONT -- “People continue to die because too many people still think it can’t happen to them,” admonished Mayor Ed Holder. “Too many people are still getting together.”

Mayor Holder was deadly serious about the risk posed by illegal gathering, regardless of size, during an online media briefing alongside the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU).

During the provincial lockdown, people living in separate households are not to gather indoors. People living alone may gather with one other household.

Despite his concerns, Holder believes it’s still too early to consider a public curfew similar to restrictions recently announced in Quebec.

Starting Saturday, Québécois must stay in their homes between 8:00pm and 5:00am, with few exceptions.

“A curfew is premature,” explains Holder. “Effectively, we already have some of that in place with some of the legislation put in place by the Premier as it relates to restaurants and bars.”

The MLHU’s Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Alex Summers agrees, “Minimizing gatherings at any time of day is absolutely essential.”

In Quebec, the curfew is intended to curb the number of gatherers inside private homes.

London Police continue to lay charges related to illegal house parties and gatherings.

On the weekend, a resident of Thurman Circle was fined for an illegal gathering held in November.

The mayor warns that local authorities will not hesitate to level hefty fines, but concedes the financial penalty comes after the risk of transmission has already occurred.

“A fine doesn’t cure someone’s COVID infection, it doesn’t bring someone out of hospital, and it doesn’t bring someone back to life. Enough is enough.”