The Province Prohibts Gatherings Of Five People Or More Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Prohibited public events include weddings and social gatherings, but strict exceptions have been given to private households and operating child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders.

ONTARIO - The Ontario government took immediate and decisive action today, stopping the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the health and well-being of all Ontarians.

Effective immediately, the Province is issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people. This is based on the best advice of the Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health

The order does not apply to private households with five people or more or operating child care centres that are supporting frontline health care workers and first responders, as long as it does not exceed 50 people at each centre. Funerals would also be allowed to have up to ten people at one time.

Premier Doug Ford says they're doing everything to stop the spread of the virus.

"If we are going to stop the spread of COVID-19 now and keep our communities safe, we need to take extraordinary measures to ensure physical distancing. I strongly encourage everyone to do the responsible thing and stay home unless absolutely necessary. I can assure everyone that we will do everything in our power to stop this virus in its tracks."

Organized public events include parades and events including weddings, social gatherings and communal services within places of worship. 

Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott says nothing is more important than the health of the public.

"We are acting on the best advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health and other leading public health officials across the province. These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our people. Nothing is more important."

This order replaces a previous emergency order which does not allow organized public events of over 50 people.

Ontario declared a provincial state of emergency earlier this month and has issued orders to close non-essential workplaces, including recreational programs, libraries, publicly funded schools, private schools, daycares, provincial parks, churches and other faith settings, as well as bars and restaurants, except those that may only offer takeout or delivery.

Essential services such as grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, public transit, manufacturing facilities, and supply chain companies remain open and are operating.

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