Ontario has now issued a province-wide Stay-at-Home order, and a State of Emergency has been declared again.
This is in addition to imposing a province-wide emergency brake as a result of an alarming surge in case numbers and COVID-19 hospitalizations across the province.
The province-wide emergency brake took effect on Saturday, April 3, and is in place for at least four weeks. This province-wide emergency brake applies to all 34 public health unit regions.
Additionally, effective April 8, a Stay-at-Home order will be implemented for four weeks.
What does this mean?
According to Doug Ford, this is similar to January’s Stay-at-Home order.
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.
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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.
All non-essential retail stores can open for curbside pickup or delivery between 7 am and 8 pm. Delivery will be available between 6 am and 9 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.
Shopping malls will be limited to specific purposes, including access to curbside pick and delivery or through an appointment.
Big box stores and discount stores will be restricted to sell groceries, household, cleaning items, and pharmacy supplies.
Indoor and outdoor dining is prohibited, but restaurants can operate by take-out, drive-through and delivery.
Outdoor garden centres and nurseries are allowed to operate at 25% capacity limit and a restriction of hours.
Individuals should remain in their local communities and avoid all non-essential travel – even within the province.
Enhanced enforcement will be implemented with the Stay-at-Home order and for those not following the new and existing measures, according to the province. 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.
As of Wednesday, schools in Toronto and Peel were closed for in-class learning for at least two weeks.