January 12, 2020 – Ontario New COVID-19 Restrictions

Doug Ford

Thunder Bay – Ontario is moving into a further restricted 28 day lockdown to attempt to curb COVID-19.

These include a stay-at-home order, and new enforcement.

The Premier says that Ontario’s healthcare system is on the brink of being overloaded, especially if the new variant of the virus that is now in the province, takes off.

Premier Ford says “All enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors, will have the authority to issue to tickets to individuals found in contravention with the stay-at-home order or mask covering guidelines”.

New Restrictions in Ontario

Stay-at-home order

Effective on January 14, 2021, all Ontario residents must remain at home at all times. There are some exceptions. You will be allowed to go out for essential purposes, these include going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise, or for essential work.

  • Businesses across the province must ensure that any employee who can work from home, will work from home.

Retail hours Shortened

  • All Non-essential stores may open no earlier than 7 am and close no later than 8 pm. This includes hardware stores, LCBO, The Beer Store and other alcohol retailers. The same restrictions during the lockdown on curbside pickup or delivery apply.
  • The province however says that those restrictions are not in effect for stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores and restaurants for takeout and deliver.

New Rules on Masks

  • The province is now recommending individuals wear a face covering or mask when outdoors and cannot physically distance from others.
  • Citizen are still mandated to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations.

Outdoor gatherings limited

  • The size of outdoor social gatherings has been lowered to five people, with some very limited exceptions.
  • The Ontario Government says that those the limits are designed tol allow individuals and families to enjoy time outdoors safely.

School closures extended in COVID-19 hot spots

  • In-person learning will not return until February 11, 2021 for Toronto, York Region, Hamilton, Windsor-Essex and Peel Region.
  • Elementary and Secondary schools in the southern part of the province (south of Sudbury) were slated to remain closed until January 25, 2021 which is two weeks later than the original reopening date.
  • In-person learning continues across Western and Northern Ontario for elementary students on January 11, 2021.

Non-essential construction limited

  • Ontario has limited non-essential construction, which include below-grade projects.

New Enforcement Measures

Ontario has also brought in new enforcement measures which the government says are to help ensure that the new enhanced public health restrictions are enforced across Ontario.