New Stay At Home Order Issued In Ontario, New Retail Restrictions Announced

Wednesday April 7th, 2021

Posted at 3:36pm

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The government of Ontario has announced new restrictions under the provincial lockdown set to take effect at midnight tonight along with its third provincial emergency declaration and second stay-at-home order.

Stay-At-Home Order

Premier Doug Ford announced the stay-at-home order during a news conference, Wednesday afternoon.

“The Covid-19 situation is at a critical stage and we must act quickly and decisively to stay ahead of these deadly new variants,” said Ford. “By imposing these strict new measures we will keep people safe while allowing our vaccination program to reach more people, starting with our high risk population and identified hot spots. Although this is difficult, I urge everyone to follow these public health measures and together we will defeat this deadly virus.”

The province says the new stay-at-home order will take effect on Thursday, April 8th at 12:01am, “requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for exercise close to home and with the people you live with, or for work that cannot be done remotely.”

The province is expected to release a full list of permitted activities in the near future but Ford says the stay-at-home order is expected to be similar to last time.

Changes For Retail

The province is also tightening public health and workplace safety measures for non-essential retail under the provincewide emergency brake.

The new measures include:

  • Limiting the majority of non-essential retailers to only operate for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, between the hours of 7:00am and 8:00pm, with delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6:00am and 9:00pm, and other restrictions;
  • Restricting access to shopping malls to limited specified purposes, including access for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, with one single designated location inside the shopping mall, and any number of designated locations outside the shopping mall, along with other restrictions;
  • Restricting discount and big box stores in-person retail sales to grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, health care items, and personal care items only;
  • Permitting the following stores to operate for in-person retail by appointment only and subject to a 25 per cent capacity limit and restricting allowable hours of operation to between 7:00am and 8:00pm with the delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6:00am and 9:00pm:
    • Safety supply stores;
    • Businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, aids or supplies, mobility devices, aids or supplies or medical devices, aids or supplies;
    • Rental and leasing services including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental;
    • Optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public;
    • Businesses that sell motor vehicles, boats and other watercraft;
    • Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services; and
    • Retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or service, which may only permit members of the public to enter the premises to purchase a cellphone or for repairs or technical support.
  • Permitting outdoor garden centres and plant nurseries, and indoor greenhouses that engage in sales to the public, to operate with a 25 per cent capacity limit and a restriction on hours of operation to between 7:00am and 8:00pm

Schools

The province also says they won’t be closing schools.

“Keeping schools and child care open is critical to the mental health and well-being of Ontario children and youth,” the province said in a news release. “Schools and child care will remain open for in-person care and learning in public health regions where it is permitted, with strict safety measures in place.”

They say beginning next week, education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs across the province, and all education workers in select hot spot areas, will be eligible to register for vaccination. Vaccinations will commence during the April break starting with priority neighborhoods in Toronto and Peel, then rolling out to priority neighborhoods in other hot spot regions, including York, Ottawa, Hamilton, Halton and Durham.

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