Education and Awareness Preferred Options or OPP can Charge You

Ontario Provincial Police

THUNDER BAY – Keeping you and your family safe means social distancing. Not only is it common sense, but depending on where you are, it is also the law. The City of Toronto passed an emergency by-law on Wednesday requiring people to stay two meters apart.

That does not apply to family members out for a walk or bike ride but for contact with strangers or for stopping social gatherings of more than five people.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) encourages businesses and individuals to voluntarily comply with the short-term restrictions introduced by the federal and provincial governments to combat the spread of COVID-19.

While education, awareness and compliance are preferred options, officers will apply discretion to lay charges under the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA)

Enforcement actions can include offenses relating to:

·      operation of non-essential businesses and

·      gatherings of more than five people, with some exceptions

Additionally, police have the authority to arrest those in non-compliance of the federal Quarantine Act at the request of a screening or quarantine officer.

The OPP will continue to provide public safety services to the communities we serve and support the efforts of federal, provincial and local health authorities during the current situation involving COVID-19. We appreciate the public’s ongoing support of these measures. Stay home and avoid non-essential travel, practice good hygiene and follow the Ontario Ministry of Health’s recommendations in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

If you wish to file a report regarding non-compliance under the Quarantine Act, contact Public Health Agency of Canada. For emergencies, please call 9-1-1. For all other police matters, including non-compliance to the EMPCA, please call your local police or the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. For less serious incidents, report online by visiting opp.ca/reporting.

Additional COVID-19 information and resources can be found at Ontario.ca and the Government of Canada website. OPP-related information and updates can be found at opp.ca.