toronto social distancing rules

These are the social distancing rules in Toronto right now

Social distancing rules in Toronto and Ontario might seem confusing but understanding what the term means is critical to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Social distancing is not the same as self-isolation.

Technically, you only need to self-isolate in Toronto right now if you've just returned from abroad, have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or you have symptoms of COVID-19.

That said, the latest social distancing advice from Toronto Public Health encourages everyone to stay home whenever possible and limiting interactions with others.  

Further, public gatherings with more than 50 people are prohibited. This includes parades, events and communal services in places of worship. Even 50 people seems like a high yard stick. In Germany, they have banned groups of more than two.

Toronto police have warned that individuals and businesses who ignore the social distancing rules could be fined. 

“Although voluntary compliance is always preferred, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, there are consequences for individuals and businesses that choose to defy the Act while it is in force,” the Ontario Provincial Police said Saturday

Individuals could be fined up to $1,000, while corporations could face fines of $500,000.  

So to make sure you don't end up with a hefty fine or contribute to the spread of COVID-19 here's the latest rules and advice for social distancing.

  • Limit, postpone or cancel small gatherings and cancel non-essential trips. This means connect with friends and family online or by phone. It also means no parties and keeping kids away from group settings, including playdates and playgrounds.
  • Consider alternative ways to work, such as working from home if possible and conducting virtual meetings. 
  • When you need to leave the house – for groceries, exercise or taking your dog for a walk – make sure you're keeping a two meters (6-feet) distance from others. Also remember to wash or sanitize your hands when entering and exiting buildings.
  • Some other things to do include: avoiding long lines, using tap to pay instead of cash, taking public transit at off-peak times or taking shorter trips instead of one long one and greeting others with a wave or head nod instead of hugs or handshakes. 
  • Lastly, Toronto Public Health suggests avoiding care facilities to help protect vulnerable family members unless it is absolutely essential. 

Following social distancing rules in Toronto is critical right now. Don't be like Vancouver and gather in groups in a park or beach. Don't cluster with others inside takeout restaurants.

And when you're waiting in line outside a supermarket or LCBO because they have implemented social distancing measures, don't stand too close to the next person in line. Make sure to keep the distance to two metres (6-feet) at all times.

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