Ontario's stay-at-home order sparks questions and disappointment
INNISFIL, ONT. -- Directly following the province's stay-at-home order announcement, many worry about whether it goes far enough to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
On Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford announced the stricter measures in a highly anticipated briefing, but it left many who CTV News spoke with disappointed and confused.
"I think he should have put us in a stronger lockdown similar to Quebec because obviously if 30 per cent are still not getting it, we've got to be stronger if we want to get over this," said Barrie resident Cheryl Edling.
The province stated non-essential businesses would only be open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., including alcohol retailers and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, leaving Barrie Chamber of Commerce president Todd Tuckey with serious concerns.
"I'm more concerned the effects are going to be the opposite of what the province is asking for in the fact that you are narrowing the window for people to attend that store. By narrowing the window, you've given a shorter span for the same volume of people to go into the store."
Ford said he had his eye on big-box stores, which are still allowed to sell non-essential items, which doesn't sit well with Barrie business owner Tamara Disaverio.
"I am sorely disappointed that there have been no restrictions on big-box mass retailers other than their hours," the retail owner said.
The premier said he'd seen the "crazy lineups" at the large retailers and warned them he would come down "like an 800-pound gorilla" if they don't comply with the new order.
Meanwhile, schools in southern Ontario will reopen on Jan. 25, except for those in the province's five hotspots, including York Region, which won't reopen until Feb. 10. Childcare centres and daycares will remain open.
Outside gatherings decrease from 10 people to five.
The government noted the big change with the new order is law enforcement. Police and bylaw officers can issue tickets to anyone who is found in breach of the order. While it didn't explain how officers would know why someone had left their home, the government did suggest officers could fine people if there are reasonable and probable grounds under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
The stay-at-home order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday. "You must stay home. It's the law," Ford said Wednesday. "We just need everyone to stay home a little while longer."
For those confused by the stay-at-home order, the premier said it's simple. "The message is very clear. Stay home," he reiterated. "There is no confusion here, folks. There is no confusion. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home."