Crackdown on large gatherings starting April 22

Toronto police may not be stopping and questioning folks who are out walking or driving, but they will be enforcing the latest prohibition against gatherings.

Starting tomorrow afternoon, watch for officers to show up at our parks, beaches, and other outdoor facilities, as well as at indoor events, as they crack down on large groups.

Police chief James Ramer has announced the forming today of a “dedicated enforcement team in each Division across the city” to respond to people who flout the new rules that limit gatherings to members of a household.

“I again urge all Torontonians to please comply with the stay-at-home order,” Ramer said. “Let’s work together to stop the rapid growth in [COVID-19] cases and relieve the pressure on our health care system.”

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The Ontario government announced new restrictions that prohibit people from gathering indoors or outdoors with anyone they don’t live with, except one other person who lives alone, as of April 8.

They also require everyone to remain at home except for specified purposes, including going to the grocery store or pharmacy, getting medical services, exercising outdoor, or doing work that cannot be done remotely.

At permitted events, such as weddings or funerals, participants must stay two metres apart and wear a mask or face covering.


Fines from $750 to $10,000 — and more

Earlier, however, Toronto police said they would not be conducting random stops of people or cars and noted individuals do not have to explain why they are out of their residence.

Officers may issue tickets and summonses for individuals and businesses found to be violation of the prohibition against gatherings though.

The provincial restrictions allow fines $10,000 or more for organizers, as well as $750 for each attendee, of banned events.