NEW! On January 12, 2021, in response to growing spread of COVID-19 in Ontario, a 28-day Province-wide "Stay at home" order effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday January 14, 2021 was announced by the provincial government. This addition to the previously announced shutdown is a collective effort made by all of Ontario to help bend the curve of the COVID-19 virus, and put the health and safety of all of us as our top priority. The new orders are accompanied by new "state of emergency" orders in effect until at least February 11, 2021.
Stay at home
As of January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., a stay at home order is in effect for all of Ontario.
This means you must stay at home. You should only go out for necessities, such as:
- getting food, beverages or medication
- going to medical appointments
- supporting vulnerable community members
- child care
- attending school or a post-secondary institution
- going to a bank
- accessing government services
- getting exercise or walking pets
- going to work, if you can’t do it remotely
Businesses must ensure that all employees work from home if they can.
Do not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary.
Limit close contact to only members of your household (the people you live with). If you live alone, you may consider having close contact with one other household only.
Up to 5 people may gather outdoors, as long as you can keep 2 metres physical distance from each other. You should also wear a mask or face covering.
You may attend a funeral, religious service or wedding of up to 10 people.
If you do not follow these rules for gatherings:
- organizers may be fined $10,000
- each attendee may receive a $750 ticket
- enforcement personnel may break up the gathering or temporarily close the premises
Stop the spread
You should always:
- stay home if you have covid 19 symptoms, even if they are mild
- stay two metres apart from people you don’t live with
- wear a mask or face covering properly in indoor public spaces and outside any time physical distancing is not possible — you may be fined if you don’t
- wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- sneeze and cough into your sleeve
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- get tested if you think you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19
You can also download the COVID Alert mobile app to protect yourself and your community.
The Chatham-Kent Police will not be randomly stopping vehicles or people walking, for the sole purpose of checking for compliance with the Stay-at-Home Order. We will continue to be proactive in an effort to educate citizens if an offence is observed to ensure compliance. We will also triage complaints with Municipal By-Law officers. Complaints and concerns regarding violations should be reported by calling 311 or via email COVID19Enforcement@chatham-kent.ca
Enforcement officers are able to issue tickets and fines to individuals and businesses who are not following the orders.
The set fines are:
- $750 for not following an order
- $1,000 for preventing others (including individuals, employees or other workers) from following an order
Maximum fines can be up to $100,000 for individuals and $10 million for a corporation.
Failure to follow the rules could also result in prosecution or even a year in jail.
Additional health and safety measures
The following new health and safety measures will be put in place in all Ontario elementary and secondary schools:
- students in Grades 1 to 12 must wear masks or face coverings:
- in schools, including in hallways and during classes
- on school transportation
- outdoors during recess, where distance cannot be maintained
- enhanced screening protocols will be recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health — Ontario’s covid 19 School and Child Care Screening Tool, will be updated to reflect the new screening criteria
- targeted covid 19 testing will be expanded
Retail stores can only be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
These hours of operation do not apply to:
- supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmer’s markets and other stores that primarily sell food
- discount and big box retailers that sell groceries
- gas stations
- restaurants for take-out and delivery only
Downhill skiing, golf courses and outdoor driving ranges are closed to the public. Maintenance is allowed.
Cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling and dog sledding can stay open, as long as they follow public health requirements.
What is open and closed
For a full list of details closures per sector please visit our Closure Updates page.