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COVID-19 - Enforcement & Closures


COVID 19 Update Header Photo, Blue with images of microorganisims and icons of hand washing, social distancing and staying home.

Enforcement of Mandatory Closures & Restrictions

 

FAQ - GOING INTO A STATE OF EMERGENCY AND WHAT IT ENTAILS

Who is responsible for ensuring patrons at a business are wearing masks? Employees, customers, and a corporations are all responsible for ensuring face coverings are worn indoors, unless there is an exemption.  Employees, customers, and corporations may be susceptible to fines for failing to ensure compliance with the emergency order.

Can I have visitors over? No, unless you live alone.  It is illegal to gather indoors with anyone you do not live with, unless you live alone, then you can have contact with only one household other than your own.

Can we gather outside? Yes, although not encouraged, to maximum of 5.  Limit close contact to your household (the people you live with) and stay at least 2 metres apart from everyone else.

My wedding is booked at a venue, am I still allowed to have my reception? No.  Meetings and event spaces are closed.

Can I still have my wedding? Yes.  Religious services rites or ceremonies are still permitted to proceed.  Maximum 10 persons either indoors or outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained.  These amounts cannot be combined.  The Town has suspended issuing marriage licences at this time.

Are funeral services still being provided?  Yes.  Maximum 10 persons either indoors or outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained.  These amounts cannot be combined.  No indoor gatherings outside of those in a household are permitted at a residence or venue outside the service.

Who do I call if my neighbours are having a large gathering? Contact your Municipal By-Law Department 905.871.1600 x5216 or after-hours Niagara Region at 905.984.3690 & 1.877.552.5579

Who do I call if COVID-19 safety protocols are not being followed at an essential business? Contact your Municipal By-Law Department 905.871.1600 x5216 or after-hours Niagara Region at 905.984.3690 & 1.877.552.5579

Can I still get my hair cut? No.  Personal care services are closed.

Can I go to the Gym? No.  Fitness facilities are closed.

Can I get my pet groomed? No.  The provisions for have pet grooming services were removed after the Region entered the “grey” stage.

Can I go out for indoors or outdoors (patio) meals? No.  Restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments are only permitted to offer take-out, drive-through, or delivery service.  This includes over-the-counter alcohol sales.

What time does a business have to close? Excluding discount and big box stores, if a business is a provider of an essential service, it is permitted to open no earlier than 7am, and must close no later than 8pm.

Can I hire a contractor for home renovations? No.  Only residential construction projects that commenced before January 12th, 2021, are permitted.

My business is permitted a 50% store capacity.  How would I calculate that? The maximum number of persons permitted in a business or facility that is operating at 50 per cent capacity is determined by taking the total square metres of floor space accessible to the public in the business or facility, not including shelving and store fixtures, dividing that number by 8 and rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.

What about non-school aged child care? Home-based daycare settings are still permitted to operate for non-school aged children, and those not enrolled in JK or Kindergarten immediately prior to December 21st, 2020.

Can I rent out my short-term rental? Yes, but only to those in need of housing or for a rental that was booked prior to December 26th, 2020.  Social gathering restrictions still apply.

Can a Police Officer or a Municipal By-law Enforcement Officer close a premise?  Yes. Under the provincial emergency, all Provincial Offences Officers, including Police Officers and Municipal By-law Enforcement Officers, have the authority to disperse crowds indoors as well as outdoors, and may order that the premise be temporarily closed if they have reasonable grounds to believe that an organized public event or other gathering is occurring at the premise, and that the number of people in attendance exceeds the number permitted, but does not apply to individuals who reside in the premise.

Am I required to identity myself to a Police Officer or Municipal By-law Officer? Yes. Under the provincial emergency, individuals have a duty to identify when a Police Officer or By-law Officer has reasonable and probably grounds that an offence under EMCPA or ROA has been committed, and it is an offence for failing to provide identity information.

What about domestic services? Domestic services may only be provided that support children, seniors or vulnerable persons.  This includes housekeeping, cooking, indoor and outdoor cleaning and maintenance services.

Can I visit my cottage? Yes, with limitations, and not encouraged at this point.  An individual may attend another residence for up to a 24 hour period for a purpose set out in the Stay-At-Home Order, or if they intend on staying for at least 14 days, then there is no requirement to leave.

 

 

All other stores are permitted to operate, but only if they have either online ordering, curbside pick-up, or other delivery options.

 

Restrictions may be expanded or modified by the Government of Ontario. Check their website for the latest updates and detailed information.

Fines can be issued for non-compliance. Enforcement of the provincial order is jointly through the Town's municipal law enforcement & Niagara Regional Police Service.

Failing to comply with an emergency order carries a fine of $750 per offence, and up to $1,000 for obstructing those attempting to carry out their duties under the Act.
 

Who to Call

  • During normal business hours, after hours and weekends, concerns around enforcement of COVID 19 emergency orders should be directed to the Town of Fort Erie at 905-871-1600 Ext 5216 or submit an online form.
  • Do not call 911.
  • For all COVID 19 health matters and/or inquiries, please call the Public Health hotline at 905-688-8248 or 1 (888) 505-6074 (press option 7 then follow the prompts).