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Doug Ford wants people to skip Friday the 13th rally in Port Dover

Thousands of motorcycles which descend on the small town of Port Dover, Ont., every Friday the 13th tour main street during this summer's celebrations Friday, June 13, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins

Ontario’s premier is urging motorcycle enthusiasts not to travel to Port Dover for the annual Friday the 13th rally.

Speaking in Hamilton on Thursday, Doug Ford said it’s far too risky to have thousands gather in Port Dover this year with the second wave of COVID-19 in full force.

“Folks, we can’t have thousands of people getting together right now. We’re seeing the numbers, all over the world and all over Canada, and right here in Ontario, they’re climbing,” Ford said.

“It’s concerning, it’s alarming and we have to stay on high alert. My friends, I am asking everyone to be responsible.”

Ford touched on a number of outbreaks recently reported out of local restaurants and bars, such as the one out of Kitchener. Health officials confirmed as many as 175 people were potentially exposed to the virus. 

Motorcyclists have been gathering in Port Dover whenever the calendar flips to Friday the 13th since 1981.

With sunny skies expected in Port Dover this weekend, some health officials are worried it will lead to large crowds that will make it increasingly difficult to contact trace.

The OPP and bylaw officers are expected to patrol the streets to ensure the rally doesn’t get carried away.

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