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Ontario Just Answered All Your Questions About The New Stay-At-Home Order

What's considered an essential trip, and how many trips can you take in a day?

On Tuesday, the premier announced that Ontario's stay-at-home order will be going into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, January 14.

Ford made it clear that residents can only leave the house for essential reasons, but it seems that there were some questions left to answer about what's considered essential.

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Today, the province released a summary of what you can and can't do under the order.

What is considered an essential trip?

The province has defined essential trips as accessing goods and services that are necessary for a person's health, safety, and wellbeing.

Ontario's statement says it "cannot determine what is essential for every person in this province," due to people's unique circumstances.

However, essential trips can be defined as accessing "food, health-care services, including medication, exercise or work, where someone’s job cannot be done at home."

Why are outdoor gatherings of five people still allowed?

The province recognizes that "some people live alone and may require the company or support of others for their mental and physical well-being," which is why these gatherings are still allowed.

People living alone are also permitted to maintain close contact with one other household.

However, Ford said on Tuesday that "enforcement and inspections will increase" to prevent gatherings that exceed the limit.

The province now also recommends wearing masks outside when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Is exercise considered essential, and what activities are allowed?

According to the province, exercise is permitted and varies from person to person.

"Some may wish to go for a walk around the block, while others may wish to go to a local basketball court with their household to shoot some hoops," their statement says.

In Toronto, ice skating rinks remain open with a capacity limit of 25 people. Other recreational amenities remain open, but the options vary in every region.

How long can people leave their homes for, and how many times a day?

Ontario says there is no limit to the number of essential trips you can take, and how long those trips must be. However, residents are asked to use their best judgement.

"They should limit the number of stores they go to and spend as little time outside of their home as possible."

Can Ontarians still go to their cottages or secondary homes?

The provincial government asks the public to adhere to the rule of only leaving home for essential purposes, which could include "emergency maintenance" of their cottages as opposed to leisure trips.

"In the spirit of the stay-at-home order, at this time we are not recommending intra-provincial travel."

Who can and should work from home under the stay-at-home order?

While Ontario cannot review each and every job description to make this call, employers are being asked to use their judgement to determine who can work remotely.

Anyone who can work from home must do so now, the statement emphasizes.

"If an employee believes they should be working from home, they can contact the Ministry of Labour to file a health and safety complaint."

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