LONDON, ONT. -- Easter and Passover are normally times families get together to enjoy meals and other traditional activities, but health and municipal officials as well as police are warning people to maintain physical distancing.

“There is substantial COVID-19 activity in the community right now, so we need to find creative ways to connect with one another at a distance during Passover and the Easter weekend,” says Dr. Chris Mackie, Middlesex-London Health Unit's medical officer of health and CEO.

“Plan to celebrate and share meals only with those who are already close household contacts, while using technology to stay connected to family and friends.”

Churches are also using technology to connect with congregations, with some offering livestreams. 

Services at places of worship have been cancelled throughout the region due to the pandemic.

City of London officials remind people that organized social gatherings and public events of more than five people are not allowed in London and the province.

This includes gatherings in homes with people who don’t reside there. Households where more than five people live are exempt.

Police are also asking everyone to abide by the province’s emergency orders.

"This was definitely not how I planned to spend my Easter weekend, but it’s important that we all stay home in order to save lives," says London Police Chief Steve Williams.

Police also remind the public that they will be watching for impaired drivers.

“If you enjoy celebrating on long weekends by consuming alcohol or drugs, please do so in the safety and comfort of your home. Although there are less vehicles on the roads during this time, police will not be tolerating dangerous or impaired driving,” a Woodstock police release says.

What’s closed in the city

All outdoor recreation facilities remain closed including playgrounds, soccer pitches, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, basketball courts, skate parks, golf courses, off-leash dog parks, community gardens, benches, picnic areas, park shelters and outdoor exercise equipment.

Can I use the park?

Parks, green space, trails and pathways remain open for walking and biking only. They aren’t for gathering. If you are in an open green space, maintaining physical distance of no less than two metres is required at all times.