New public health measures unveiled by the province

THE COUNTIES, Ontario - The Ontario government has unveiled new public health measures to combat rising COVID-19 cases and intensive care admissions.

Interprovincial travel

Starting April 19, the province is setting up checkpoints at all interprovincial borders and will limit access to border crossings at Manitoba and Quebec. Those coming into Ontario for work, medical care, transportation of goods and exercising indigenous treaty rights will be exempted.

Stay-at-home order

The stay-at-home order will now be extended for an additional two weeks. It will now be a six-week-long order that will last until May 20. SDG residents must remain at home at all times, with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store, pharmacy, accessing health care services, exercise and essential work.Businesses across the province must ensure that any employee who can work from home does work from home.

Outdoor gatherings

Starting April 17, all outdoor gatherings and public events will be prohibited, except with members of the same household. A person who lives alone can gather with one other household. Outdoor recreational amenities such as golf courses, basketball courts and playgrounds, will be closed.

Retail capacity

Non-essential stores must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m., including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery. Capacity limits for in-person shopping in all retail settings where in-person shopping is permitted, including supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores and stores that primarily sell food and pharmaceutical products, will be limited to 25 per cent capacity.

Places of worship

Starting April 19, capacity at weddings, funerals and religious services will be limited to 10 people indoors. Drive-in services will be permitted.

Non-essential construction

Non-essential construction will close.

Enforcement Measures

Police will have authority to require people to provide their home address and purpose for leaving their residence. Police will also have the authority to stop a vehicle to inquire about an individual’s reason for being out.