KITCHENER -- Guelph City Council held an emergency meeting on Monday night to discuss new COVID-19 relief measures for the city.

Council unanimously approved the measures, aimed at relieving some financial pressure on people and small businesses through the month of April.

These changes include an extension of free transit in the Royal City through the month of April.

They've also agreed to stop "progressive collections" until the end of April, while waiving property tax penalties or interest charges that would be applied at the beginning of May.

"In times like these, cities rely on property taxes and user fees to meet their financial obligations and ensure we have the financial liquidity to meet the needs of residents and businesses who rely on us in an emergency," Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie is quoted in a news release.

"Council’s decisions don’t defer property taxes due April 30, but they reflect an honest effort to mitigate the financial impact for families and businesses."

Commuters in Guelph will enjoy waived parking fees, a move that's directed at increasing traffic to local businesses there while also helping their employees get to work.

The city has also given the city's Chief Administrative Officer the power to make more spending decisions to protect property, health, safety and visitors during the pandemic.

The council meeting was held virtually and streamed online in an effort to practice physical distancing between councillors and staff.