City officials in Toronto are condemning the “dangerous” behaviour of people who flooded a popular downtown park on Saturday, saying they could cause a surge in COVID-19 cases.

A statement released by the City late Saturday night says thousands of people packed Trinity Bellwoods Park on one of the first warm days of the year, flouting physical distancing regulations.

“They are putting their own health at risk and by risking the spread of the virus to others, they could contribute to the kind of setback we are trying hard to avoid,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said on Twitter. “I know from talking to them tonight these are smart people who simply have to do better going forward.”

Numerous photos shared across social media platforms show hordes of people lounging in the park, apparently disregarding physical distancing regulations.

Story continues below advertisement

The city has made it illegal to come within two metres of someone from a different household in parks and public squares.

0:36City of Toronto installs fencing around Trinity Bellwoods cherry blossoms

City of Toronto installs fencing around Trinity Bellwoods cherry blossoms

Those who break the bylaw could be handed a $1,000 ticket on the spot,

 » READ MORE FROM GLOBAL NEWS