On Tuesday March 17th, 2020 Premier Doug Ford issued a Provincial Emergency Declaration for the Province of Ontario. Since that time, two emergency orders have been given to aid in providing further protection against the spread of the deadly COVID 19 virus. The Government has asked Police to help enforce these orders under the EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND CIVIL PROTECTION ACT (EMCPA). The St. Thomas Police Service would like to take this opportunity to educate individuals of the consequences of not following the order. We hope individuals affected by the temporary restrictions will comply with the order before enforcement is necessary.
The Act States:
- Every person who fails to comply with an order or who interferes with or obstructs any person in the exercise of a power or the performance of a duty conferred by an order under that subsection is guilty of an offence.
- These offences apply to individuals, directors, or officers of corporations
- For each day a violation occurs, it is a separate offence for EACH DAY.
Emergency Orders (As of Thursday March 26th, 2020)
- Based on expert advice received from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the government will require the following establishments to be closed as of March 17th, 2020 until March 31st, 2020 unless the emergency is terminated earlier:
All facilities providing indoor recreational programs,
All public libraries,
All private schools as defined in the Education Act,
All licensed child care centres,
All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery,
All theaters including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies, and
All concert venues
- Based on advice received from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, all organized public events of over fifty (50) people are hereby prohibited including parades and events and communal services within places of worship.
- As of March 24 at 11:59 pm, the mandatory closure of all non-essential businesses in Ontario was ordered to help curb the spread of COVID-19. This order will remain in place for at least two weeks from date of issue.
Physical Distancing and Self Isolation are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus. There are provisions under the Health Protection and Promotion Act that authorizes the issuance of orders for a person to isolate themselves. There are offences and fines for failing to comply. If such orders are announced for the province of Ontario, we will further provide that information to the local public. There is no enforcement authority at this time for failing to comply with physical distancing or self isolation. Please do not call the police to report individuals not following the advice from the Medical Officer of Health.
Quarantine for Travelers – the Federal Government has announced that it will start enforcing the 14-day quarantines on travelers returning to Canada to try to limit the spread of COVID-19. These formal quarantines took effect on March 25th at midnight and come with the potential for fines or even arrests for people violating such orders.