Ontario has announced new COVID-19 lockdown guidelines and every individual, ranging from the Mayor of Toronto to the least placed person said the rules were confusing.
According to Premier Doug Ford’s office, the most important point to know is to stay at home.
Also, the office of Ford forwarded a list of frequently asked questions about the rules to reporters recently.
While talking about the rules, Spokesperson Travis Kann in an email said the government can not make one set of rules work for every region in Ontario. He said people who are in downtown Toronto, for instance, can do online shopping or get whatever they need from one big-box store while people who dwell in rural areas rely on small retailers’ curbside pickup to get their essentials.
Kann said: “As we have from the very outset of this pandemic, we will continue to rely on the best judgment of Ontarians as they stay at home as much as possible and only leave their homes for essential purposes.”
Some of the rules are conflicting. For instance, Ontario people have been told not to go out except it is totally essential, while funerals and weddings are still permitted to host up to 10 people provided they all wear masks and practice social distancing.
The most important things to take note are discussed below. These new rules have taken effect and and will be in place till at least February 11, 2021.
Ontarians have been directed to only leave home for essential reasons which include acquiring groceries and medication, going for medical appointments and exercising their bodies.
As things stand, Police and other enforcement officers have the backing to request for identification and issue a ticket if they discover someone is on a non-essential trip. Also, schools in Toronto, Windsor, Peel, York and Hamilton will remain closed for in-person learning tillFebruary 10, 2021 while students between Grade 1 and Grade 3 will have to put on masks and every student must wear masks outdoors when social distancing is not possible.
Outdoor gatherings of over five people are not permitted, as such, the police can disperse such gatherings. However, the government said this permission is in place for people who stay alone only to visit with another household.
Masks have been strongly recommended outdoors when physical distancing seem difficult and non-essential stores must close at 8 p.m. This recommendation does not apply to big-box retailers, grocery stores and restaurants that serve take-out.
Furthermore, non-essential construction is being restricted more.
Things you are permitted to do
You are permitted to go out to buy groceries, medication, personal care items and pet supplies. Also, you can send a child that is too young to be attend school to child care and go for medical appointments and get mental health services.
You can go to school as long as the school is open and to to workplace if you can’t work from home. You can go outside to exercise your body, pick up goods from stores that are permitted to provide curbside pickup, visit one other household if you stay alone, go for a wedding, funeral or religious service if people present there are not more than 10 and they all put on masks and practice social distancing.
Furthermore, you can have a domestic worker in your home if they nurse a child, senior or vulnerable person, visit your secondary residence or cottage provided you will be there for less than 24 hours or at minimum of two weeks, and lastly, you can go to the airport or train station to travel outside Ontario.
Things you should not do
You should not visit a social “circle” of those you don’t live with, go to workplace if it’s possible to work from home.
Also, you are not expected to travel within the province or stay in a short-term rental.