These are the fines you can get in Toronto and Ontario for COVID-19 right now
Fines related to COVID-19 bylaws and emergency orders in Ontario and Toronto are what you need to know right now so you don't end up with a hole in your wallet.
Police officers in Toronto and all over the province have been out in full force issuing warnings and fines to those breaking COVID-19 municipal bylaws and provincial orders.
There are different fines for different offences and if you're planning to head out into society anytime soon, it's important to know exactly what you're allowed to be doing and what you can be fined for.
Toronto Police Officers are patrolling parks & public squares on horses, bikes, in cars and on-foot to enforce public health orders and a social distancing by-law. Tickets will be issued for those not respecting the law. Please do your part to keep us all safe. #COVID #StayHome pic.twitter.com/aGd7qi8c4a— Mark Saunders (@marksaunderstps) April 3, 2020
Firstly, residents of Toronto are required to follow the newly implemented social distancing bylaw signed and approved by Mayor John Tory last week.
The bylaw requires any two people who don’t live together to keep two metres of distance between them in a park or public square.
Anyone who fails to comply with the new bylaw can receive a maximum set fine of $1,000, or officers could also issue higher tickets (up to $5,000 upon conviction) that would be subject to the courts.
Police officers across Ontario are also enforcing provincial orders banning organized social gatherings of more than five people as well as bans on using closed playgrounds and other parks amenities.
Under section 7.0.11. of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, fines for violating a provincial order can range from $750 to $100,000, including up to one year in jail.
The City is also issuing fines to non-essential businesses that remain open despite provincial orders to shut down.
On April 1, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health also issued new directives to residents of Toronto under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
Dr. Eileen de Villa has ordered all individuals with COVID-19 who aren't hospitalized, all individuals with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or who are waiting for their test results, and all individuals who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 or has the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 to self-isolate for 14 days.
"FAILURE to comply with this Order is an offence for which you may be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more than $5,000.00 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues," the class order states.
Thankfully, residents of the city are still permitted to leave their houses for essential reasons, drive around and walk outside as long as they're complying with the above-mentioned measures.
The enforcement blitz comes as many were slow to follow social distancing recommendations in Toronto, with hordes of people and families were congregating in parks as recently as last weekend.
But according to the City, people are finally getting with the program.
"Early reports from frontline enforcement staff are encouraging. Many people in city parks are practising physical distancing and only travelling in small groups from the same household," notes a City of Toronto news release.
"In many instances, where enforcement officers have spoken to park goers, people have responded positively to education about public health recommendations and willingly adjusted their behaviour."
Still, they said some problem locations persist. Yesterday, 311 received 141 complaints about gatherings and unsafe behaviour at parks.
In the first day of the enforcement blitz, 800 vehicles were turned away at Bluffers Park and 140 vehicles were deterred from parking at High Park. Police also issued 19 parking tickets.
Over the course of the day Saturday, bylaw officers and police spoke with 780 people to educate them on public health recommendations and closures and cautioned 373 others.
Police issued nine tickets total, while bylaw officers gave out one ticket related to park amenities and five to non-essential businesses that were operating in violation of provincial orders. Toronto Public Health also received 28 complaints related to non-essential businesses remaining open and issued two notices.
As of Sunday afternoon, Toronto Public Health is reporting 1,232 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 113 cases from yesterday.
Of the cases, 69 have recovered, 140 are in hospital and 58 are in ICU.
In Toronto, there have been 25 deaths thus far and community spread is responsible for 25 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the city.
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