Effective January 14, everyone must stay home at all times – except for these essential reasons
A stay-at-home order took effect in Ontario at midnight on January 14, meaning Ontarians have new rules to get used to.
The order comes two days after Premier Doug Ford declared a new state of emergency to curb COVID-19 cases, which are surging and threatening to overwhelm hospitals.
The new restrictions include:
The order, which will last for at least 28 days, requires people to stay at home except for essential reasons.
Toronto Police have issued a statement explaining officers will enforce rules under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and Reopening Ontario Act, and their focus will primarily be on restaurants and businesses breaking the rules, and dispersing large gatherings.
“Officers can exercise discretion in every situation,” said Toronto Police Deputy Chief Demkiw in a news release. “But, where there is evidence of non-compliance, officers will be ticketing and issuing summonses for individuals and businesses.”
When officers have “reasonable and probable grounds” to suspect someone is violating the provincial acts, police said, they will ask a person to identify themselves in order to issue a ticket or summons.
“If the person refuses to identify themselves for this purpose, they can be arrested and charged with obstructing a police officer,” the statement adds.
The stay-at-home order does not give officers the power to enter dwellings nor the authority to stop a vehicle to check compliance, police said.
“In addition, individuals are not compelled to explain why they are out of their residence, nor is being outside prima facie evidence of a failure to comply with the stay at home order,” the statement continues. “Workers are also not required to have proof from their employer that they are travelling to or from their workplace.”
So what reasons are essential? Read the full list of stay-at-home order rules in Ontario below.
1. Working or volunteering where the nature of the work or volunteering requires the individual to leave their residence, including when the individual’s employer has determined that the nature of the individual’s work requires attendance at the workplace.
2. Attending school or a post-secondary institution.
3. Attending, obtaining or providing child care.
4. Receiving or providing training or educational services.
5. Obtaining food, beverages and personal care items.
6. Obtaining goods or services that are necessary for the health or safety of an individual, including health-care services and medications.
7. Obtaining goods, obtaining services or performing such activities as are necessary for the safe operation, maintenance and sanitation of households, businesses, means of transportation or other places.
8. Purchasing or picking up goods through an alternative method of sale, such as curbside pickup, from a business or place that is permitted to provide curbside pickup under the Stage 1 Order.
9. Attending an appointment at a business or place that is permitted to be open by appointment under the Stage 1 Order.
10. Obtaining services from a financial institution or cheque cashing service.
11. Obtaining government services, social services and supports, mental health support services or addictions support services.
12. Delivering goods or providing care or other support or assistance to an individual who requires support or assistance, or receiving such support or assistance, including:
13. Taking a child to the child’s parent or guardian or to the parent or guardian’s residence.
14. Taking a member of the individual’s household to any place the member of the household is permitted to go under this Order.
15. Doing anything that is necessary to respond to or avoid an imminent risk to the health or safety of an individual, including,
16. Exercising, including,
17. Attending a place as required by law or in relation to the administration of justice.
18. Exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right as recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
19. Travelling to another residence of the individual if,
20. Travelling between the homes of parents, guardians or caregivers, if the individual is under their care.
21. Making arrangements to purchase or sell a residence or to begin or end a residential lease.
22. Moving residences.
23. Travelling to an airport, bus station or train station for the purpose of travelling to a destination that is outside of the Province.
24. Attending a gathering for the purpose of a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite or ceremony that is permitted under the Stage 1 Order or making necessary arrangements for the purpose of such a gathering.
25. If the individual lives alone, gathering with the members of a single household.
26. Obtaining goods or services that are necessary for the health or safety of an animal, including obtaining veterinary services.
27. Obtaining animal food or supplies.
28. Doing anything that is necessary to respond to or avoid an imminent risk to the health or safety of an animal, including protecting an animal from suffering abuse.
29. Walking or otherwise exercising an animal.
Update (January 14, 5:45 pm): This post was updated with information from the Toronto Police Service.