Ontario extends stay-at-home order, adds restrictions, and strengthens police power to enforce restrictions

Ontario has extended the stay-at-home order, introduced additional restrictions, and police have given additional powers to enforce the restrictions, Prime Minister Doug Ford said on April 16.

“We are losing the battle between variants and vaccines,” Ford said. “The pace of vaccine supply has not kept pace with the spread of new COVID mutants.”

The state has extended the previous four-week stay-at-home order by two weeks, limiting interstate travel from Manitoba and Quebec only to purposes such as work, medical services, and the transportation of goods and services.

The state has also given police and bylaws officers additional authority to implement public health measures during a stay-at-home order since April 17. This includes the ability of police to ask people for their home address and purpose when they are away from home. Police can also stop the car and ask the people inside why they left the house.

All non-essential work will be closed, and outdoor recreational facilities such as golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields and playgrounds will be closed with “limited exceptions”. Big box stores can only operate with 25% capacity.

Outdoor gatherings are only permitted to members of the same household and another person living alone, or to the caregiver of a member of the household.

From April 19th, the maximum number of worship halls will be 10 indoors or outdoors.

Ford is also calling on the federal government to take more control of its borders.