Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Ontario’s Even Stricter Stay-At-Home Order
On Friday, April 16, Premier Doug Ford announced the extension of Ontario's stay-at-home order for an additional two weeks, along with new measures to curb rising COVID-19 cases.
These new measures include the restriction of interprovincial travel in or out of Quebec and Manitoba, rules prohibiting the gathering of more than one household outdoors, limited capacities in big-box stores, increased enforcement and more.
Narcity asked you on Instagram what you want to know about the latest guidelines and we've compiled a list of answers.
When do the new restrictions go into effect?
Ontario's stay-at-home order will now last until at least May 20 and most of the new restrictions will come into effect on Saturday, April 17, at 12:01 a.m.
Saturday will see the ban of outdoor gatherings between individuals of different households and a pause on all non-essential construction. Big-box stores will only be able to operate at 25% capacity, and all recreational amenities, such as playgrounds, basketball courts and soccer fields, will be closed.
On Monday, April 19, at 12:01 a.m., all non-essential interprovincial ground travel between Ontario and Manitoba, and Ontario and Quebec will be prohibited and enforced using checkpoints.
Monday will also usher in new capacity limits for religious services, weddings and funerals, all of which will be lowered to 10 people indoors or outdoors.
What new powers do police have?
Under these new restrictions, police will have additional enforcement powers.
As of Saturday, April 17, "police officers and other provincial offences officers will have the authority to require any individual to provide their home address and purpose for not being at their residence," according to the Ontario government's release.
In addition, police will have the authority to pull over vehicles and inquire about an individual's reasoning for leaving home.
If you do not comply, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones told reporters on Friday that police officers can issue a ticket with a $750 fine under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
These special powers will only be in effect as long as the stay-at-home order is in place.
Can I still fly in or out of Ontario?
As of now, interprovincial flights have not been affected by these measures.
However, Ford did call on the federal government to impose further restrictions on international travellers during Friday's press conference.
"We need to do more to stop other, even deadlier variants, from getting into Canada and causing more havoc. That means limiting air travel, tightening our U.S. border and addressing the countless issues we’re seeing with testing and quarantining when people fly into our country," said Ford.
We're travelling to Ontario in the next two weeks, do we need to cancel?
If you're planning on travelling to Ontario by car, you will not be able to enter unless your purpose for travelling is for work, health care services, transportation and delivery of goods and services or exercising Aboriginal or treaty rights.
If you're set to enter Ontario by plane, there is nothing in place as of now to indicate you won't be able to enter the province.
Do we know what will happen to childcare centres?
Friday's announcement had no mention of childcare centres, but on Thursday, April 15, Ford's government announced that free childcare would be provided to essential workers who have school-aged children.
This goes into effect as of Monday, April 19, and will stay in effect until kids are permitted to attend in-person learning again.
The government has provided a list of essential workers eligible for free childcare. If you are eligible for free childcare, you must contact your local service system manager to access it.
What if you live alone? Are you still able to interact with one other household?
Yes, those who live alone are still permitted to interact with one other household of their choice.
Can we go to parks to hike, walk or picnic?
Exercise is listed as an essential reason to leave your home under the stay-at-home order.
Walking or hiking in a park counts as exercise, so these activities are permitted.
A picnic in the park does not fall under essential exercise and is not listed as a reason for leaving your home.
What's the restriction on weddings at cottages and private residences?
Starting Monday, weddings, funerals, and religious services will be permitted to operate with a limit of 10 people, indoors or outdoors.