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Ontario Returns to State of Emergency



TORONTO — The Ontario government has issued a stay-at-home order and declared a second state of emergency for the province.

At a press conference yesterday, Premier Doug Ford announced the stay-at-home order — which means all Ontario residents must stay at home except for essential reasons, such as accessing healthcare, shopping for groceries, exercise or for essential work — will take effect tomorrow and will last for at least 28 days.

Under the stay-at-home order, all businesses must ensure any employee who can work from home does so.

The new measures also include restricting the hours of operation for non-essential retail stores, such as hardware stores, to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. These restrictions do not apply to restaurants offering takeout or delivery.

Other restrictions include:
• no return to in-class learning until February 11, at the earliest, for Windsor-Essex, Peel Region, Toronto, York Region and Hamilton public-health units
• outdoor public gatherings and social gatherings of more than five people will be prohibited (previously, up to 10 people were allowed to gather outdoors)
• masks remain mandatory indoors at open businesses or organizations and masks are also now being recommended outdoors where physical distancing of two metres or more is not possible
• new limits on non-essential construction

Ford also announced all enforcement and provincial offence officers are being granted the power to issue tickets to those who don’t comply with the stay-at-home order.