Businesses flouting pandemic measures face fines

Effective immediately, York Region businesses that violate enhanced measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 face  fines of up to $5,000 a person and up to $25,000 for a corporation for every day or part of each day on which the offence takes place or continues.

The fines fall under a class order that was issued by Dr. Karim Kurji, the region’s medical officer of health, just hours before Toronto and Peel Region entered lockdowns on November 23. The order falls under Section 22 of the Province of Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Dr. Karim Kurji

Meeting and event spaces, special event venues, banquet halls, hotel conference rooms and convention centres must cap attendance at 50 people per event. People attending indoor and outdoor gatherings for religious services, ceremonies or rites in weddings, funerals and celebrations of life must be able to maintain a physical distance of two metres from each other and ensure that, in no event, shall the gathering exceed a maximum of 50 persons.

Shopping malls must set a maximum capacity for patrons, ensure all stores set a maximum capacity limit, and actively manage all lineups or patrons congregating and ensure all patrons waiting in lineups inside or outside shopping malls maintain physical distancing. Retail stores must set maximum capacity for patrons and both shopping malls and retail stores must ensure physical distancing is observed in common areas, washrooms, hallways and entrances.

Those business must all follow further instructions from York Region Public Health pertaining to COVID-19. The province reported 1,589 new cases on Monday. York Region, now a red-control zone under the province’s colour-coded pandemic system, saw 205 new confirmed cases.

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