OPP to enforce new gathering limits.

(ORILLIA, ON) – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) wants to ensure everyone is aware of how it is supporting efforts to limit transmission of COVID-19.

Frontline OPP members will be enforcing provisions of the Reopening Ontario Act (A Flexible Response to COVID-19; ROA), 2020 and will encourage the public to follow the direction of their local Public Health Units (PHUs).

As of September 19, 2020, the new gathering limits are:

· indoor events or gatherings: 10 people (previous limit of 50)

· outdoor events or gatherings: 25 people (previous limit of 100)

This applies to social gatherings in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas. This includes – functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, barbecues and wedding receptions.

The new limits do not apply to events or gatherings in staffed businesses and facilities since they must already follow specific public health and safety guidelines to minimize risk and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, police officers now have the authority to temporarily close any premises where they have reasonable grounds to believe that a gathering or event is in violation of any gathering limits.

· Individuals will be required to leave the premises if they have been temporarily closed and will not be permitted to return/re-enter on the same day unless re-entry is authorized by an officer. This does not apply if it is their place of residence.

· Individuals who refuse to leave may be ticketed or charged.

Anyone who believes a gathering is not adhering to the Reopening Ontario Act should report it to their municipal by-law enforcement authorities or police service.

The OPP encourages everyone to do their part to support our health care system and workers at this difficult time and minimize the impact of COVID-19 in all of our communities. For all non-emergency police matters – including allegations of non-compliance – contact your municipal by-law office, call the OPP non-emergency number at 1-888-310-1122 or your local detachment.

The OPP continues to provide public safety services to the communities we serve and supports the efforts of federal, provincial and local health authorities during the current situation involving COVID-19. We appreciate the public’s ongoing support of these measures.

Visit the OPP website news section for more information to help limit COVID-19 transmission.