Stay-at-Home Order to commence Thursday
By Stewart Grant
Facing escalating COVID-19 infection rates threatening to overwhelm the health care system, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a province-wide State of Emergency on Tuesday afternoon.
The provincial ‘Stay at home’ order comes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday. This requires Ontarians to remain at home unless for essential reasons such as grocery store or pharmacy visits, accessing health care services, performing essential work duties, and exercise.
Under the new restrictions effective Thursday, businesses must, where possible, shift employees to work-from-home activities. All non-essential retail stores will be subject to restricted hours, opening no earlier than 7 a.m. and closing no later than 8 p.m. These time restrictions do not apply to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants providing take-out or delivery, or stores that primarily sell food.
To enforce these measures, the province has provided police the power to ticket those who are in violation. The announcement from Premier Ford came just prior to the Independent going to press. For more information, please see news.ontario.ca/en.