Not following social distancing and other protocols will cost you. Ontarians who aren't following orders about social distancing and business closures increasingly risk paying a big penalty. COVID-19 tickets in Ontario are already starting to be issued across the province.
Ontario issued stronger measures on March 31 to encourage people to follow social distancing.
That includes high fines and even up to a year in prison. The measures give power to provincial offences officers, police officers, and First Nation constables.
Anyone who refuses to cooperate can be fined even more.
On Wednesday, April 1, Toronto health staff revealed the number of cases in the city has soared by over 500% in two weeks.
And, with anxiety over the disease's progress growing, the province is already starting to see punishments being doled out for residents defying direct health and safety recommendations.
According to the Toronto Star, the City of Brampton has already issued its first ticket under their physical distancing bylaw, due to a backyard party.
A resident called 311 to report a party being held with about 20 people in attendance.
Fines in Brampton could range from $500 to $100,000 depending on the severity.
“The first night of these new fines, bylaw with the assistance of Peel police, laid their first fine and it’s not going to be the minimum... It’s going to go straight to court and will be up to a judge to decide. (The fine) could be up to $100,000,” said Mayor Patrick Brown via The Star.
Meanwhile, according to InsideHalton, Halton Police issued a warning to an Oakville business that was still open, selling vaping products despite being considered non-essential.
After complaints, police investigated and laid two charges under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
The owner received a warning notice since they didn't follow recent orders due to COVID-19.
Businesses that remain open despite orders to close can be fined $750 by police, according to InsideHalton.
You may have already read about the alleged drug dealer in Hamilton who got a heavy fine for running a non-essential business. He ended up with four charges on his record.
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GOTCHA! https://t.co/2ENYvpe3F4— Steve Ryan (@Steve Ryan) 1585773921.0
And, according to CP24's Steve Ryan, on Wednesday, police had to break up a huge number of parkgoers at Sunnyside Park who were blatantly contravening the idea of social distancing.
Per Ryan, bylaw officers and police turned up to break up the illicit party. Photos shared on Twitter show officers ticketing members of the public.
So, just know that if you're going to ignore health advice in Toronto right now, you should expect to face consequences.