Ontario has now issued a Stay at Home order, on top of the province-wide lockdown and a second state of emergency declared.
With new orders and mandates being implemented every few weeks, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on what you can and can’t do.
Effective January 14, at 12:01 am a stay at home order will be implemented.
What does this mean?
This means everyone must stay home and only go out for essential trips, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing healthcare services, for exercise or for essential work.
In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.
Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions. According to the province, this is consistent with the rules during the lockdown during the first wave of COVID-19 in Spring 2020 and will allow individuals and families to enjoy time outdoors safely.
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Individuals are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open.
In addition, all non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 am and close no later than 8 pm. However, the restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.
Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.
Enhanced enforcement will be implemented with the stay at home order and for those not following the new and existing measures. Those who decide not to abide by orders will be subject to set fines and/or prosecution under both the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act (ROA) and EMCPA.
Under both acts, fines are subject up to $100,000 and one-year imprisonment, $500,000 for individuals in charge of a business and up to one year in jail.
Corporations that do not follow rules could also face a fine of up to $10,000,000.
With cases projected to rise to potentially 10,000 a day by February 8, the Ontario government is taking additional action to curb the spread.