The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is immediately declaring a third provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA). These measures are being taken in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, the threat on the province's hospital system capacity, and the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants.
Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
"The Covid-19 situation is at a critical stage and we must act quickly and decisively to stay ahead of these deadly new variants," said Premier Ford. "By imposing these strict new measures we will keep people safe while allowing our vaccination program to reach more people, starting with our high risk population and identified hot spots. Although this is difficult, I urge everyone to follow these public health measures and together we will defeat this deadly virus."
Case rates, hospitalizations, and ICU occupancy are increasing rapidly, threatening to overwhelm the health care system. The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province have increased by 28.2 per cent between the period of March 28 and April 5, 2021. In addition, between March 28 and April 5, 2021, Ontario has seen the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care escalate by 25 per cent. While every action possible is being taken to increase capacity and continue daily surgeries and procedures, the province is reaching a tipping point.
Effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a province-wide Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise , or for work that cannot be done remotely. As Ontario's health care capacity is threatened, the Stay-at-Home order, and other new and existing public health and workplace safety measures will work to preserve public health system capacity, safeguard vulnerable populations, allow for progress to be made with vaccinations and save lives.
Outdoor recreational amenities
Outdoor recreational amenities permitted to open, subject to conditions, include:
- parks and recreational areas
- baseball diamonds
- batting cages
- soccer, football and sports fields
- tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts
- basketball courts
- BMX parks
- skate parks
- frisbee golf locations
- cycling tracks and bike trails
- horse riding facilities
- shooting ranges, including those operated by rod and gun clubs
- ice rinks
- tobogganing hills
- snowmobile, cross country, dogsledding, ice-skating and snow-shoe trails
- portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment
- golf courses and driving ranges
- ski hills
A permitted outdoor recreational amenity may only open if:
- physical distance of at least two metres can be maintained
- team sports, or other sports or games where people may come within two metres of each other, are not practiced or played
- locker rooms, change rooms, showers and clubhouses remain closed (except for access to equipment storage, washrooms or first aid)
Organized public events and social gatherings
Events and gatherings
Indoor organized public events and social gatherings are not allowed, except with members of the same household (the people you live with).
Individuals who live alone and single parents may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation.
Outdoor organized public events and social gatherings must comply with public health advice on physical distancing and have no more than 5 people.
Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes:
You must not leave home, except:
- To go to work or volunteer. The work role must be considered “essential.” Per the terms of the order, employers get to decide if a job is essential or not.
- To go to school (some school boards have closed for in-person learning)
- Attending, obtaining or providing child-care.
- Receiving or providing training or educational services.”
To buy things:
- Purchasing “food, beverage and personal care items.”
- Obtaining healthcare items and medication
- Buying goods or services that are “necessary for landscaping, gardening and the safe operation, maintenance and sanitation of households, businesses, means of transportation or other places.”
- Buying or attending an appointment at any business allowed to be open, including for curbside pickup.
- Attending a financial institution.
- Receiving any government service including healthcare or mental health assistance.
- Delivering goods or providing care to anyone in a congregate care setting or receiving goods or support.
- Accompanying someone else outside who requires assistance to travel.
- Transporting a child to their parent or guardian’s home.
- Transporting a member of one’s household “to any place the member of the household is permitted to go under this Order.”
To protect oneself:
- From domestic violence
- Assisting someone living in unsafe conditions
- Seeking help in an emergency situation
- Attending a court or other location for the administration of justice
To exercise, including:
- “walking or moving around outdoors using an assistive mobility device”
- using an outdoor recreational amenity permitted to be open.
- All activities protected under Aboriginal treaty as defined by the Constitution Act of 1982.
Moving and travelling:
- Travelling is permitted to another location if the person intends to stay there less than 24 hours and is doing so for one of the other purposes set out in the order.
- Otherwise, travelling to another residence is only allowed if an individual intends to stay there for at least 14 days.
- Travelling between homes of parents, guardians or caregivers in order to safeguard someone under their care.
- “Making arrangements to buy or sell a residence or to begin or end a residential lease.”
- Going to the airport, train or bus station, “for the purpose of travelling to a destination that is outside of the Province."
- If one lives alone, with the members of one additional household.
- For a wedding, funeral or religious service that is permitted by law or making necessary arrangements for the purpose of such a gathering.
Caring for animals:
- Buying food or veterinary services for an animal.
- Walking an animal.
- Preventing or avoiding an imminent risk to an animal’s health or safety, including preventing animal abuse.