Province Introduces Enhanced Measures to Address COVID-19 Crisis

Published on January 12, 2021

Since the implementation of the Provincewide Shutdown over two weeks ago, the latest modelling trends in key public health indicators have continued to worsen, indicating that our health system will be overwhelmed unless drastic action is immediately taken. 

From the very start of this pandemic, our government’s top priority has been the health and well-being of all Ontarians. Every option has been on the table to ensure the health of Ontarians. To stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, Premier Ford today declared a second state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order, effective January 14, 2021, to reduce persistent levels of mobility.

"The latest modelling data shows that Ontario is in a crisis and, with the current trends, our hospital ICUs will be overwhelmed in a few short weeks with unthinkable consequences," said Doug Ford, MPP for Etobicoke North and Premier of Ontario. "That's why we are taking urgent and decisive action, which includes declaring a provincial emergency and imposing a stay-at-home-order. We need people to only go out only for essential trips to pick up groceries or go to medical appointments. By doing the right thing and staying home, you can stay safe and save lives."

In response to the alarming and exceptional circumstances at hand, our government will enact the following additional public health measures:

  • Implement a Stay-at-Home order which permits individuals/families to leave home only for permitted reasons (e.g., groceries, pharmacy, health care, exercise, to support a vulnerable family member and work);
  • Limit the number of people at an outdoor social gathering or organized public event to five people;
  • Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey;
  • Require businesses to ensure employees work remotely unless nature of work requires them to be on-site; 
  • Require individuals to wear masks and distance inside businesses and other public indoor settings - and enable police and other provincial offences officers to issue tickets to individuals for failure to comply;
  • All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. This does not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery; and,
  • Ensure that police and other provincial offences officers can disperse gatherings or organized public events that are not complying with gathering/event limits.

We recognize these measures will impact people’s everyday lives, but the current COVID-19 situation requires that we must implement further measures to slow the spread and protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians. 

Until vaccines are available it is critical that Ontarians remain vigilant and continue following the public health measures.   

For the latest information and to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19, please visit Ontario’s COVID-19 Website.