Ontario Strengthens Enforcement of Stay-at-Home OrderPublished on April 20, 2021
The Ontario Government is strengthening enforcement of the province’s Stay-at-Home order while imposing new travel restrictions and further strengthening public health measures to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and relieve mounting pressures on the health care system.
With our hospital system experiencing devastating pressures as a result of sharp upward trends in hospitalization and ICU capacities, it is essential that people respect the Stay-at-Home order and follow public health measures. Unfortunately, too many people continue to gather and leave their homes for non-essential reasons, but it’s absolutely critical that people follow the public health measures and stay home. After consulting with public health experts, Ontario is also temporarily enhancing police officers’ authority for the duration of the Stay-at-Home order.
In order to limit the transmission of the variants of concerns, police officers and other provincial offences officers will be provided with the temporary authority to require any individual who is not in a place of residence to provide their purpose for not being at home; and provide their home address. In addition, police officers, special constables and First Nation Constables will have the authority to stop a vehicle to inquire about an individual’s reason for leaving their residence. These additional enforcement tools will only be in effect during the Stay-at-Home order and exclusively to enforce the Stay-at-Home order. The government has recently clarified that these temporary powers are only to be used where an officer has reason to suspect that an individual may be participating in an organized public event or gathering that is prohibited by the Stay at Home Order, and may require the individual to provide information to ensure compliance with restrictions.
Travel at border crossings between Ontario and the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec will be restricted with the exception of purposes such as work, medical care, or transportation of goods.
Additionally, all outdoor social gatherings and organized public events will be prohibited, except for with members of the same household or a gathering that includes members of a household and one other person from outside that household who lives alone. All other public health and workplace safety measures for non-essential retail under the provincewide emergency brake, will continue to apply. Additional public health measures include the closure of all non-essential workplaces in the construction sector, reducing capacity limits in all retail settings and closing all outdoor recreational amenities, such as golf courses, basketball courts and soccer fields.
To further support "hot spot" communities where COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted certain neighbourhoods, as part of Phase Two of the government’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, the government is committed to dedicating 25 per cent of future vaccine allocations to the 13 public health regions with historic and ongoing high rates of death, hospitalization and COVID-19 transmission.
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