Ontario entered a province-wide Stay-at-Home order Thursday as COVID-19 infections surge in a third wave that’s gripping much of the country.
Now that the province is mandated to stay home except when going out for an essential trip, it’s important to know what classifies an essential outing.
The Ontario government has outlined about 30 acceptable reasons for people to go out during the Stay-at-Home order.
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Here are the scenarios in which you can leave home over the next four weeks:
Work, school, and child-care
- Going to work or to a volunteer job that can’t be done from home
- Attending school
- Obtaining or providing child-care
- Receiving or providing education or training services
Getting goods or services
- Buying food, beverages, or other personal care items
- Getting something that’s necessary for health and safety, such as medication or a vaccine
- Buying gardening or landscaping products
- Purchasing something necessary for operating or maintaining a household or business. This also applies to getting cars or bicycles serviced
- Picking up goods via curbside pickup
- Attending an appointment at a business that’s permitted to be open by appointment only
- Going to a bank or other financial institution
- Getting mental health supports, including for addiction or through social services
- Obtaining other government supports
- Caring for someone who requires help. This includes delivering goods such as groceries or accompanying someone who needs help to an appointment
- Taking a child back to their parent
- Accompanying a member of your household while they engage in any of the permitted activities
Health, safety, and legal
- Anything that’s necessary to protect your health. For example, this includes leaving home because of domestic violence
- Using a recreation facility that’s still open (e.g. a public park)
- Attending somewhere required by law for the administration of justice
- Exercising Aboriginal treaty rights
Travel between residences
- Moving is permitted during the Stay-at-Home order, although there is a moratorium on residential evictions
- Travelling as required to purchase or sell a home, or find a rental unit or terminate a lease
- Someone can travel between the homes of their parents or guardians if they’re still under their care
- Individuals can travel to another residence if it’s for a purpose allowed during the Stay-at-Home order, or if they plan on staying at the second residence for more than 14 days
- Leaving Ontario by plane, bus, or train is permitted
- Getting veterinary services for pets
- Buying animal food or supplies
- Walking or exercising a pet
The province also noted that the Stay-at-Home order does not apply to individuals who are experiencing homelessness. They are permitted to move around without restriction.
Ontario’s daily COVID-19 cases have been at or above 3,000 for a week straight, and COVID-19-related ICU admissions are at an all-time high. Ontario has now seen a total of 374,112 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.