stay at home order ontario

Lockdown restrictions to remain in place when Ontario lifts stay-at-home order

Ontario's stay-at-home order is officially set to expire on Wednesday, June 2, but the province has clarified that very few things will actually change once the order is lifted. 

In a news release issued Tuesday, the provincial government said all other public health and workplace measures will remain in place provincewide until Ontario enters Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen, which is currently scheduled for the week of June 14

"We've seen great progress in our fight against COVID-19 in recent weeks, but now is not the time to let our guard down," said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones in the release.

"With the Stay-At-Home order set to expire, we need to provide people with certainty so that they can continue to follow public health guidance. Doing so will help us to meet our goal of starting to gradually lift some restrictions when we enter Step One of the Roadmap when it is safe to do so."

The stay-at-home order, which was reintroduced on April 7 in response to variants of concern, requires Ontarians to remain at home at all times except for the essential purposes set out in the order, including going to work, exercising, going to the grocery store/pharmacy or accessing health care services.

This restriction will no longer be in effect once the order expires tomorrow, but all other public health measures including limits on gatherings, businesses, services and activities will continue.

Some of these measures include limiting indoor gatherings to households only and outdoor gatherings to up to five people, maintaining a cap of 25 per cent capacity for essential retail where only certain goods are permitted to be sold, restricting non-essential retail to curbside pickup and delivery only, limiting short-term rentals to individuals in need of housing and allowing Ontario Parks and campgrounds on public lands to be used for day-use only.

The order's expiration does mean that Ontarians will be able to leave home to travel within the province to a secondary residence for any reason, but they won't be able to host members of another household indoors except for a person from another household who lives alone or is a caregiver.

Ontario's moratorium on eviction enforcement will also expire along with the stay-at-home order.

"As we continue to accelerate second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for Ontarians, maintaining public health measures will ensure we continue to protect our hospital capacity and help stop the spread of COVID-19 variants," said Health Minister Christine Elliott in the release.

"As we look towards Step One of Ontario's Roadmap and begin to gradually lift public health measures, it remains critical that all Ontarians continue to follow public health advice and roll up their sleeves to receive the vaccine. Every dose administered means we are one step closer to the end of the pandemic."

Lead photo by

Michael Muraz

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