The new lockdown rules for Ontario have people really confused
Ontario was braced for Tuesday's announcement about new lockdown restrictions, expecting that the government might implement a radical curfew or more business closures in COVID hotspots or across the entire province.
What we got was, thankfully, a little less heavy-handed, but unfortunately a whole lot more confusing.
Stay at home / You can meet 5 people outside.— Fatima Syed (@fatimabsyed) January 12, 2021
Stay at home / You can go get groceries and essentials until 8 pm
Stay at home / You could get fined or face a year in prison if you don't.
Stay at home / Childcare centres are open; schools are closed.
I'm SOOOOOOOOOO confused. pic.twitter.com/RSQbxphCbU
Most were already under the impression that we were being directed to stay at home as much as humanly possible and only leave the house for "essential" trips for weeks now, and are especially befuddled by the fact that they are still able to gather with up to four people from other households outdoors — but ostensibly only for "essential" reasons, whatever those could be.
And why are we told we.can only go out for essentials, but curbside shopping is still allowed at non essential storea— Nancy Bell (@NancyBe65647506) January 12, 2021
New, more limited operating hours announced for businesses are also a little confounding, as they dictate that "all non-essential retail stores... must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m."
But, all non-essential stores were forced to close for in-person service back when full lockdown began, which was on Nov. 23 for Toronto and Peel, Dec. 14 for York and Windsor-Essex, Dec. 21 for Hamilton and Dec. 26 for all of Ontario.
Some are wondering if non-essential stores can now reopen their doors (they can't), and how leaving the house for any type of non-essential shopping would be permitted under a stay-at-home order that asks the populace to "only go out only for essential trips to pick up groceries or go to medical appointments."
the non-essential retail store i was working at had to shut down as of boxing day because of the lockdown. is this saying the store is allowed to reopen between those hours? are businesses opening back up during a state of emergency? i’m confused lmao#ontario pic.twitter.com/H0AIr67LIn— cynthia (@gotsevenornever) January 12, 2021
As per the provincial government's release on the topic, the non-essential stores that are seeing a reduction in potential opening hours include those that have been allowed to operate under the most recent iteration of lockdown, such as alcohol retailers.
All stores that have been offering curbside pickup and delivery services only must now limit their window for doing so to the hours mentioned above.
The more prohibitive hours notably do not apply to "essential" retailers, which are those that "primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery."
It’s really not that confusing.......nothing changed. Except school.— Beth Levy (@Beth_Levy66) January 12, 2021
To many, the rules don't seem all that much different from those that citizens have been abiding by for weeks now, with a few exceptions.
Notably, students' return to in-person learning has been delayed until Feb. 10 for some public health units, while others will find out when they can get back into classrooms on Jan. 20. Childcare centres remain open.
Also, all non-essential construction is being "further restricted" — essentially, ceased — and the province has updated its list of what types of construction fall into this category.
For the people in ontario who are confused let me explain.— gabby (@gabbyarabo) January 13, 2021
First ford was like “stay at home 😠”
But now hes like “stay at home 😡”
Hope that cleared everything up :)
With this much uncertainty about what the new lockdown means, people are particularly worried about how enforcement, which Premier Doug Ford said is being ramped up, will take place. But it looks like even the police are confused by the new directives and how they are to enforce them.
Hopefully Ford and his team's clarification of the "legal parameters" of the stay-at-home order later today will help.
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