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Photo by Daniel Tafjord on Unsplash

On April 16 the provincial government announced new restrictions on outdoor activity and gatherings that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. April 17.


In an April 17 media release from the Saugeen Shores Police Service, the new restrictions are as follows:

• Prohibit all outdoor social gatherings and organized public events, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of the household;
• Close all non-essential workplaces in the construction sector;
• Reduce capacity limits to 25 per cent in all retail settings where in-store shopping is permitted. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies; and,
• Close all outdoor recreational amenities, such as golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields, and playgrounds with limited exceptions.

This new order has expanded police authority to stop individuals found in public spaces to ensure they are compliant with the Stay-at-Home order. Individuals are required to provide officers their home address and the purpose for being outside of their residence.

This Provincial Order gives police additional powers to assess compliance and implement a level of enforcement. The Saugeen Shore Police Service will be conducting evidence based investigations.

"While it is not the intention of our police service to conduct wholesale random spot checks, persons who appear to be in violation of the order may find themselves being approached by an officer," read the release, adding that Saugeen Shores Police Service will maintain a complaint and proactive driven model of enforcement and compliance. "Officers will engage, explain, educate, and enforce," the release concluded.

See: Saugeen Shores Police say they won't be conducting random checks, despite the power to do so

See: Town services and amenities impacted by strengthened Stay at Home Order


In a media release April 16, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) also made the public aware of actions being taken to help limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, including restrictions on interprovincial travel.

The OPP will have members located at interprovincial points of entry by road to screen all vehicles beginning Monday, April 19, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. ET/CT-Manitoba time. Those not travelling for essential reasons will be refused entry. There are exceptions for work, medical care, transportation of goods and the exercising of Treaty rights for Indigenous persons.

"Under the updated orders, police have the authority to ask individuals and motorists who are not at home their purpose for leaving home and to provide their home address," read the release.

"The OPP urges everyone to comply with all restrictions. Although voluntary compliance is always preferred, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), Re-Opening Ontario Act (ROA) and federal Quarantine Act, there are consequences for individuals who choose to defy the emergency orders," the release continued. "The OPP will be informing the public of charges laid each day on its social media accounts. The public is reminded that individuals who fail to comply with the restrictions can be issued a minimum fine of $750."

Those who obstruct an authority or individual from enforcing or complying with an order can receive a minimum fine of $1,000, and those who host parties or gatherings in violation of the regulations can face a maximum fine of $10,000 on conviction.

In a second media release, April 18, the OPP said that officers will enforce the Stay-at-Home Order "by focusing on non-compliance in businesses and restaurants, complaints from the public and unlawful public gatherings."

The release went on to say that officers "will not arbitrarily stop an individual or a vehicle, or enter a dwelling for the singular purpose of checking compliance with the order. Individuals are not expected to provide proof of essential work. Officers who believe an individual may be participating in a gathering that is prohibited may require the individual to provide information to determine whether or not they are in compliance."