FULL LIST: Ontario Announces New Restrictions, Plans For Enforcement, Extension Of Stay At Home Order

Friday April 16th, 2021

Posted at 6:05pm

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Last updated: Saturday April 17th, 1:07pm

Looking for the full legal changes to Ontario’s regulations? Click here.

The government of Ontario has announced new restrictions for the province including an extension of the stay at home order for two more weeks, putting up checkpoints at provincial borders, restricting outdoor gatherings to those with people from the same household, closing outdoor recreation amenities, reducing capacity at religious services, and closing non-essential construction workplaces, among other restrictions.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement late Friday afternoon and outlined how the province has three tools to stop the spread of COVID-19: vaccinating people, limiting mobility, and enforcing the restrictions.

“As the latest modelling confirms, without taking immediate and decisive action COVID-19 cases will spiral out of control and our hospitals will be overwhelmed,” said Premier Ford in a news release. “That’s why we are making difficult, but necessary decisions to reduce mobility and keep people in the safety of their own homes. We need to contain the spread of this deadly virus, while getting vaccines in as many arms as quickly as possible.”

Enforcement

The government says “to increase public compliance with the Stay-at-Home order and stop the spread of COVID-19, amendments to an emergency order (O.Reg 8/21 Enforcement of COVID-19 Measures) have been made that will provide police officers and other provincial offences officers enhanced authority to support the enforcement of Ontario’s Stay-at-Home order.”

They say effective Saturday, April 17th, 2021 at 12:01am, 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.”

The government says police officers, special constables and First Nation Constables will also “have the authority to stop vehicles to inquire about an individual’s reasons for leaving their home.”

After announcing details on plans for enforcement, Ford however said they are not restricting exercise.

“I’m not, and we as a group, are not saying ‘don’t take a walk around and get some exercise,'” Ford said.

Health Minister and Deputy Premier Christine Elliott said “many people are outdoors in large groups” and are not following public health measures. She said Ontarians should continue to go out and exercise, but should not do so in groups other than with their own households.

Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones says police will have the authority to stop vehicles to question people why they…

Posted by windsoriteDOTca – windsor's hyper-local news & culture on Friday, April 16, 2021

Extension of the Stay-at-Home Order

The government also announced an extension to the provincial declaration of emergency and the Stay-at-Home order for an additional two weeks.

The province’s Stay-at-Home order currently in effect requires everyone to remain at home except for these specific reasons.

Restriction on travel between the provinces

The government also announced they will be setting up checkpoints at land borders between Ontario and Manitoba and Quebec.

“In order to limit the transmission of the variants of concern, the government is also restricting travel into Ontario from the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec with the exception of purposes such as work, health care services, transportation and delivery of goods and services or exercising Aboriginal or treaty rights,” the government said in a statement.

Additional measures starting Saturday

The government also announced additional public health and workplace safety measures that will take effect on Saturday, April 17th, 2021 at 12:01am:

  • Prohibiting all outdoor social gatherings and organized public events, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of the household;
  • Closure of all non-essential workplaces in the construction sector;
  • Reducing capacity limits to 25 per cent in all retail settings where in-store shopping is permitted. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies;
  • Closure of all outdoor recreational amenities, such as golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields, and playgrounds with limited exceptions.

The government released full legal details on the changes, Saturday morning.

Additional measures starting Monday

The government also announced changes to religious ceremonies that will take effect on Monday.

They say effective Monday, April 19th, 2021 at 12:01am the government is limiting the capacity of weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 10 people indoors or outdoors.  They’re also prohibiting social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone. They say drive-in services will be permitted.

Increased vaccine supply for hot spots

The government also announced they will be increasing the allocation of vaccines to hot spot areas in the province. They say they will be “dedicating 25 per cent of future vaccine allocations to the 13 public health regions with historic and ongoing high rates of death, hospitalization and COVID-19 transmission” to “further support ‘hot spot’ communities where COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted certain neighbourhoods.”

Windsor-Essex is one of the thirteen public health regions with hot spot postal code neighbourhoods.

The government says all other public health and workplace safety measures for non-essential retail under the provincewide emergency brake (i.e., curbside pick-up and delivery only), will continue to apply.

The government says based on the latest modelling data, “COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and ICU occupancy are continuing to increase rapidly and are now at their highest levels since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.”

They say the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province have increased by 29.2 per cent between the period of April 7th and 13th. They say between April 8th and 14th, the province has seen the number of patients in intensive care due to COVID related critical illness increase from 552 to 659, and admissions are projected to rise to over 1,000 patients by the end of the month.

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