Toronto, ON — Ontario is closed for business—at least a large portion of the province. In response to high daily COVID-19 cases, Premier Doug Ford made the decision to increase restrictions on the day-to-day lives of Ontarians. The televised announcement came into effect as of 12:01 a.m. on April 17. The stay-home order has also been extended an additional two weeks, with emergency orders in force under the “Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act” extended until May 5, 2021. Orders currently in force under the “Reopening Ontario Act“, have been extended until May 20, 2021, according to the province.
The new restrictions close all non-essential workplaces in the construction. Work in the construction sector deemed essential and therefore can remain operating, include work on hospitals, long-term care homes and homes that are needed for health safety.
Non-essential construction includes work on shopping malls, hotels and offices.
In addition to the closures of some construction sites, the province will be launching an enhanced targeted province-wide inspection campaign, which will see some 200 inspectors visiting around 1,300 construction sites.
Land travel outside of Ontario will now be restricted. Ontarians will be limited in their travel to Manitoba and Quebec with exceptions for health care services, work, transportation, delivery of goods, or indigenous/treaty rights. Police will have given additional enforcement powers to target gatherings and unlawfully open businesses. This immediately came under criticism, with many police services declaring that they would not randomly stop people for leaving their homes. Currently, the Barrie, Cornwall, Durham, Gananoque, Guelph, Halton, Hamilton, Kawartha Lakes, London, Niagara, North Bay, Ottawa, Peel, Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, South Simcoe, St. Thomas, Stratford, Toronto, Waterloo, and York Police Departments have refused to conduct random stops. The Ontario Provincial Police also declared on their website that they wouldn’t be participating in random stops.
All outdoor social gatherings and organized public events are prohibited, except with members of the same household or one other person outside that household who lives alone. All retail stores will be required to reduce capacity by 25 per cent where in-store shopping is permitted. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmer’s markets, pharmacies and other stores that primarily sell food.
All outdoor recreational amenities, such as golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields, and playgrounds are closed, with limited exceptions. The capacity of weddings, funerals, and religious services has been reduced to 10 persons—whether indoors or outdoors.