Breaking down the new COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario

Tanya Simon
April 17, 2021

Effective Friday afternoon, Ford extended the provincial Emergency Declaration and the province-wide stay-at-home order that he announced on April 7 for a total of six weeks, which would give an end date of May 13.

Ontario introduced sweeping new restrictions Friday in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the province's third wave.

According to Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, these new temporary authorities during the stay-at-home order include allowing police officers and bylaw officers to require any individual not in a place of residence to provide their goal for not being at home and provide a home address.

Closing all outdoor recreational amenities, such as golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields, and playgrounds, with limited exceptions.

Religious gatherings will be capped at 10. In addition, police officers, special constables and First Nation Constables will have the authority to stop vehicles to inquire about an individual's reasons for leaving their home. "We need to focus on those who are putting others deliberately at risk by ignoring the stay-at-home order".

That means further limiting air travel into Ontario, tightening the Canada - U.S. border, and addressing issues with people coming into Ontario and not doing the mandatory hotel quarantine and / or home quarantines, he said.

"We know that when they are followed, these measures work", Ford said of the restrictions.

The prime minister also said he recently spoke to the mayors of Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga and Markham about working together and possible federal government support.

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There will also be increased enforcement of the stay-at-home order.

2,065 people are now hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario, up from 1,955 reported yesterday.

"The provincial government announced stricter measures today to stop the spread of COVID-19 which includes new, temporary powers for police officers in all services across Ontario", a service spokesperson said in an email.

"We, as a group, are not saying don't take a walk around and get some exercise", Ford said, but he added that there needed to be measures that target large groups of people who meet in public parks without social distancing.

He says after a year of fighting this pandemic, we are now entering the hardest stage.

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, the province's science advisory co-chair, said ICU occupancy from the second wave did not have enough time to empty out by the time the third wave hit.

On Friday, Ontario reported a record 4,812 infections, while the previous record of 4,736 was logged on Thursday and 4,156 cases were reported on Wednesday.

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