Officials in York Region charged more than 50 businesses with violating COVID-19 health and safety orders in a one-week period.
Bylaw officers and public health officials from Vaughan, Markham, and Aurora, laid charges against 55 businesses between December 7 and 13, when the region was still in the Red – Control zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework.
The businesses, which are in Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Whitchurch–Stouffville, and King, as well as in Vaughan, Markham, and Aurora, each received a fine totalling $880.
The offences range from a restaurant failing to have two sides of an outdoor dining area open, to bank employees not wearing proper PPE, to a bar having more than 10 patrons inside.
Others, including a nail salon, were charged for not properly collecting customer’s contact info, and a lounge was fined for allowing alcohol consumption after 10 pm.
A grocery store was charged for not sanitizing shopping carts, and another for not ensuring physical distancing. A gym was charged for having music playing too loud, and a spa fined for staying open between 10:00pm and 5:00am.
As of 12:01am on December 14, York Region entered the Grey – Lockdown zone of the province’s COVID-19 measures.
In the red zone, restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments were allowed to offer indoor dining for up to 10 people, and there was no cap on outdoor dining.
Alcohol was allowed to be served until 9 pm, and establishments could remain open until 10 pm. All seated patrons had to provide contact information and needed to remain at least two metres away from other parties.
Under lockdown measures, all indoor and outdoor dining are prohibited.
The red zone allows gyms to be open with up to 10 people at a time. Personal care services and in-person shopping are both allowed, albeit with some restrictions in place.
All aforementioned industries are closed in the grey zone.