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Coronavirus: Police lay out consequences if Ontario emergency orders aren’t followed

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WATCH ABOVE: In the last week, the government has received nearly half-a-million EI applications. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the closure of thousands of businesses resulting in mass layoffs. Albert Delitala reports – Mar 20, 2020

Ontario Provincial Police have laid out possible consequences if emergency closure orders that were issued by the Ford government earlier this week aren’t followed.

“(OPP) wants to ensure everyone is aware of how police services are expected to respond to the Government of Ontario’s recent health emergency declaration related to limiting transmission of COVID-19,” the force said in a news release Friday.

“Although voluntary compliance is always preferred, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, there are consequences for individuals and businesses that choose to defy the act while it is in force.”

READ MORE: 60 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Ontario, total at 311 active cases

Police said the Provincial Offences Act has been updated to include new offences for police to enforce.

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Failing to comply with an order made during an emergency is a set fine of $750, while obstructing any person exercising a power or performing a duty in accordance with an order made during a declared emergency comes with a $1,000 fine.

For corporations that don’t follow the order, a fine would be decided following a conviction in court, a police spokesperson told Global News.

On Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in Ontario and ordered the closure of all facilities providing recreation programs, public libraries, private schools, child care centres, theatres, concert venues, and bars and restaurants — except for takeout operations.

OPP said all organized public events of over 50 people are prohibited, including parades and communal services within places of worship.

The orders are in place until March 31 when a reassessment of the situation will be made.

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