Ontario is under a Stay-at-Home Order until May 20, 2021
Thunder Bay – COVID-19 Update – With the new restrictions and extended Stay-at-Home Order now in effect across Ontario until May 20, 2021 many people are wondering exactly what is legal and what is not. While most police services, including the Thunder Bay Police Service have issued statements that they are not going to be doing random vehicle stops and stopping people on the streets to ask them why they are outside, there is still a fair amount of confusion.
So, what exactly can you do?
Going for a walk or a hike, or a bike ride?
This is allowed under the rules. The regulations state: “An outdoor recreational amenity that is a park or recreational area may be open for the purposes of permitting persons to walk through the park or recreational area.” This means you can walk around Boulevard Lake, Marina Park, Centennial Park or any of the walking or biking trails across the city.
Where it gets confusing is in who you are walking with. If you are out with a member of your family who is in your social bubble, you are fine. However if you are meeting with a friend, you must maintain a distance of at least two metres.
On your walk, ride or hike, it is worth mentioning that amenities in parks, like picnic benches are considered off limits, you can’t sit down and use them.
The frisbee golf at Boulevard Lake is also considered a “no-no”. It is one of the amenities.
The same apparently goes for the barbecue pits at Marina Park and Boulevard Lake and other area parks. They are off limits.
NetNewsLedger has already had questions on why a family in their social bubble can’t gather and use a picnic table or barbecue pit. We are seeking answers to those questions.
Yes it can be confusing.
Can Your Kids Play at a Playground?
Initially this was not allowed but the Premier on Saturday walked back that particular restriction.
Again however children and adults must, unless in the same family or social bubble maintain a two-metre distance from each other.
This may prove difficult for young children so the onus is on parents, or grandparents.
Can I gather with Friends?
The short answer here is NO!.
The regulations state this, unless you live alone, then you can gather with only one other household, and it has to remain the same household.
For now it is families only for the most part.
Can I Go Golfing, Play Tennis, Play Basketball, Baseball, Pickleball, Frisbee Golf, or Use the Skateboard Park?
All of these facilities are off limits.
Shopping in Ontario
Capacity limits in retail stores which under the regulations are allowed for in-store shopping are now capped at 25 per cent of legal capacity. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, farmer’s markets, pharmacies, and big box stores that sell food and pharmacy.
Stores allowed to be open for in-store shopping are also restricted to what you can purchase, clothing, toys, cooking utensils and appliances are off limits to buy in-store, but can be purchased for curb-side pick-up.
Going to Church, Weddings and Funerals
Under the new regulations, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, April 19, 2021, a maximum of ten people will be allowed to gather at religious services, weddings and funerals.
This includes outdoor services. The restrictions include the staff at the facility.
Can I take my pet for a walk or to an off-leash park?
There is really a soft yes here. Yes you can, but at an off-leash park you must maintain a two-metre distance from other people who are not part of your social bubble.
For a full understanding of the regulations and rules: Visit www.ontario.ca or consult with your local Health Unit.