The Ontario government is immediately declaring a third provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA). These measures are being taken in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, the threat on the province's hospital system capacity, and the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants.
The stay-at-home order, which by law allows people to only leave their home for essential reasons, goes into effect as of 12:01 a.m. on April 8.
The order will last for at least 28 days, which is until May 6, 2021.
Here is a Summary of How Residents of Ontario will be Affected:
- The majority of non-essential retailers must close to in-person shopping, but can operate for curbside pick-up and delivery between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- The delivery of goods to customers is permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- Shopping malls must also close for in-person shopping and can only operate for specific purposes like curbside pick-up by appointment only.
- Big box stores will remain open to in-person sales but they will only be allowed to sell essential goods, such as groceries, household cleaning supplies, and pharmacy items.
- The Ford government is not requiring schools to close in Ontario, although Toronto, Peel Region, and Guelph have decided to take that step. Schools in those areas will not return to in-person learning until at least April 19.
- Exercise is considered an essential reason for leaving your home, which means golf courses will remain open. Outdoor exercise is permitted if physical distancing can be maintained.
- The government says that because it is asking residents to stay home, trips to a cottage or secondary residence should be avoided, unless it is for an essential purpose like emergency maintenance. The government is asking that people do not travel between regions for non-essential reasons.
- Concert venues, theatres and cinemas are closed, including drive-in or drive-through events.
- LCBO locations will remain open during the stay-at-home order but will have capacity limits.
- Weddings, funerals and other religious services are subject to capacity limits of 15 per cent indoors.
- The legal limit for outdoor gatherings is five people.
- Construction activities or projects and related supporting services, including demolition and land surveying, are allowed.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.