Ontario Premier Doug Ford slammed an edict issued by four municipal nursing homes in Ottawa that barred family members from coming to their relative’s window to say hello, calling it “ridiculous” and advised people to disobey it.

Four nursing home administrators in Ottawa told families to stop coming to the windows of the facilities to see their loved ones this week, saying there had been reports that some visitors did not properly distance themselves in order to protect residents from the possibility of COVID-19 infection.

“That’s ridiculous – you have a loved one at a home – most of them are elderly – and the last time you get see your parents in some cases. I don’t know who’s come up with this ridiculous idea but they need to rethink it,” Ford said.

Ford’s own mother-in-law is in long-term care at a home in Etobicoke and is fighting COVID-19 infection.

“When we go to see visit my mother in law, I think thank God she’s on the first floor,” Ford said. “What if you have your loved one on the second floor or on the third floor, imagine how heartbreaking that is – you have your mom or your dad or your grandparents up there – and they’re wondering what is going on.”

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has ordered the nursing home administrators to figure out a solution by May 7.

Long-term care and retirement residents have blocked all but the most critical outside visits since mid-March, and have suffered more than 800 fatalities due to the virus since the outbreak began.

Ford said it’s important that loved ones in those settings see their family members, even if it is through a window.

“Go visit your loved ones as far as I am concerned, this is critical. Hopefully it won’t be the last time you see them – I’d go to the window,” he said.