The Toronto Police Service (TPS) says they will be focusing their enforcement of the provincial stay-at-home order on businesses and restaurants that are not following the rules, complaints for gatherings and ticketing gatherings over five people.
The order went into effect Thursday and was imposed in an effort to bring down soaring rates of COVID-19. It means Ontarians are to venture out only for essential purposes such as health-care, food and exercise.
The stay-at-home order does not give police the power to enter a home or the authority to stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of checking if they are in compliance.
It also clarifies that being outside is not evidence of a failure to comply with the order and people do not have to explain why they are out of their homes.
A person also does not need proof from their employer that they are travelling to and from work.
Toronto police did say if an officer has “reasonable and probable grounds” to suspect someone has violated the order, they may ask for the person’s identity to issue a ticket or summons. If the individual does not comply, they could be arrested for obstructing a police officer.
“Officers can exercise discretion in every situation,” said Deputy Chief Myron Demkiw. “But, where there is evidence of non-compliance, officers will be ticketing and issuing summonses for individuals and businesses.”
As for gatherings at skating rinks and toboggan hills, police are working with the City of Toronto on how the regulations will apply to those areas.
“The message from the Toronto Police Service is to stay home and stay safe,” added Demkiw. “We each have a personal responsibility to limit our travel to essential reasons only to slow the spread of COVID-19 and try to keep our families and communities safe and support our hospitals and healthcare workers.”
You can read the full stay-at-home order here.