COVID-19: Breaking the new social distancing rule? You could be fined up to $1,000 and businesses upto $500K

People and businesses found breaking the new social distancing rules will be fined, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said Friday.

Individuals could be fined up to $1,000 while businesses could face fines of up to $500,000, the OPP said in a news release on Friday, March 20, 2020.

All three levels of government, federal, provincial and city have been implementing strict measures since declaring a State of Emergency by imposing travel restriction, social distancing, business and school closures to limiting transmission of COVID-19.

“Although voluntary compliance is always preferred, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), there are consequences for individuals and businesses that choose to defy the Act while it is in force,” OPP said.

Under the emergency legislation declared by the province this week, a range of businesses and organizations are ordered to close including daycares, private schools, movie theatres, concert venues, libraries, indoor recreation programs, restaurants and bars, except for drive-through, delivery or take-out options.  

All organized public events and gatherings of 50 people or more are also prohibited, including parades, events, and communal services within places of worship.

The orders remain effective until March 31, 2020, but could be extended.

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