This afternoon, in consultation with Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, the Ontario government announced it is enacting a third declaration of provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA) and a province-wide Stay-At-Home Order effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. for at least four weeks.
The Stay-At-Home Order requires everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes. Examples of essential purposes include going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, outdoor exercise and work that cannot be done remotely. The intent of the Stay-At-Home order is to reduce mobility across the province, slow the spread of the virus, preserve capacity in the health-care system and buy time to get more Ontarians vaccinated as Ontario grapples with the COVID variants of concern. According to the Premier, by the end of the 28-day Stay-At-Home Order, 40% of Ontario adults will be vaccinated, based on expected vaccine deliveries from the federal government.
The measures enacted today are on top of the shutdown (emergency brake) measures put in place on April 3. In addition, the shutdown measures have also been strengthened, effective April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. to limit non-essential retail. There continues to be no limits on the construction sector.
New measures include:
- Limiting the majority of non-essential retailers to only operate for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., with delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm;
- Restricting access to shopping malls to limited specified purposes, including access for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, with one single designated location inside the shopping mall, and any number of designated locations outside the shopping mall;
- Restricting discount and big box stores’ in-person retail sales to grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, health care items, and personal care items only;
- Permitting the following stores to operate for in-person retail by appointment only and subject to a 25 per cent capacity limit and restricting allowable hours of operation to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. with the delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.:
- Permitting outdoor garden centres and plant nurseries, and indoor greenhouses that engage in sales to the public, to operate with a 25 per cent capacity limit and a restriction on hours of operation to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The full list of public health and workplace safety measures can be found in the regulations.
The Province also announced changes to the vaccine distribution plan:
The Province continues to remind residents to follow the public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Sussex team will continue to track the progress and intersection of all of these initiatives closely. Please let us know if you have any questions.