Police can't randomly stop you for being out during Stay at Home order

Jan 14 2021, 2:57 pm

Torontonians will not have to explain to police why they’re outside during Ontario’s Stay at Home order.

In a release, the Toronto Police said that while its officers will be enforcing the orders, people will not have to give a reason for being out of their house.

The order does not grant officers the authority to randomly stop an individual or a vehicle – or enter a home – for the sole purpose of ensuring compliance.

As well, workers do not have to have proof that they are travelling to or from their workplace in order to be outside.

“The message from the Toronto Police Service is to stay home and stay safe. This is no longer strictly a public health issue, it is a matter of public safety,” said Deputy Chief Myron Demkiw in the release.

“We each have a personal responsibility to limit our travel to essential reasons only to slow the spread of COVID-19 and try to keep our families and communities safe and support our hospitals and healthcare workers.”

Instead of individual compliance, officers will be focusing enforcement on restaurants and businesses that fail to close or don’t comply with customer limits, TPS said.

Efforts will also be directed towards outdoor gatherings of more than five people.

Ontario’s Stay at Home order, along with a provincial state of emergency, went into effect on January 14.

Under the order, residents must only go out for essential trips, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing healthcare services, to get exercise, or for essential work.

“Officers can exercise discretion in every situation,” said Demkiw. “But, where there is evidence of non-compliance, officers will be ticketing and issuing summonses for individuals and businesses.”

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