The Toronto Police Service’s (TPS) dedicated COVID-19 enforcement teams laid nearly 1,500 charges against people breaking the Stay-at-Home order in six weeks.
Officers from the 16 teams issued 1,459 tickets under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) and Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) since their April 22 launch.
The teams also laid 67 criminal charges, including assault and firearms offences, and attended a total of 1,845 calls.
Enforcement was focused on indoor and outdoor gatherings, with a particular emphasis on parties being held at short-term rentals, bars, and restaurants.
“[The teams] have played a crucial role in supporting the province and Public Health by protecting the public from the further spread of COVID-19,” said TPS Chief James Ramer.
“Our officers responded to gatherings, parties, and events on a daily basis, all driven by concerned members of the public.”
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With the expiry of Ontario’s Stay-at-Home order on June 2, the teams have officially been disbanded. However, police cautioned that the restrictions under the EMCPA and ROA remain in effect.
Outdoor gatherings are limited to five people, and indoor gatherings are prohibited except with members of the same household. Bars and restaurants can only offer take-out.
“Officers, where appropriate, will continue to enforce the restrictions in place and respond to large gathering calls,” Ramer said.
“Anyone thinking of attending an event or meeting up in large groups, it is not worth it. Not only are you putting yourself and others at risk but you could also face a fine of $750.”
To date, the City of Toronto has reported 167,400 COVID-19 cases and 3,396 deaths.