Over the past four weeks, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa have issued many regulations, closures, and restrictions under their states of emergency to help prevent group gatherings, flatten the spread of the COVID-19, and save lives. These are not merely guidelines – they are law.
That’s why the City’s By-law and Regulatory Services are monitoring, to raise awareness and, when required, enforcing compliance for many of these measures.
Gatherings of five or more
The Province has prohibited gatherings of five people or more, which includes social gatherings, parties, and groups playing sports. By-law staff will monitor and respond to complaints to ensure compliance with warnings and education – which can also carry an $880 fine, including the victim surcharge for each person involved.
Exception: Gatherings at funerals can include up to 10 people. Attendees must follow physical distancing and keep two metres from others.
Gathering in parks, using amenities and equipment
The provincial regulations require the closure of all non-essential businesses and the prohibition of all dine-in practices for food establishments. By-law staff will be monitoring these businesses and responding to complaints to ensure compliance, which can carry a fine of $880.
Fines for all these infractions are provincially mandated and all revenue from the fines will be collected by the Province of Ontario.
To report any violations of these protective measures to By-law and Regulatory Services, contact the City of Ottawa at 3-1-1.
Who handles self-isolation (quarantine) enforcement and regulations?
The Quarantine Act is a federal law and enforcement is handled by the Ottawa Police Service (OPS). OPS has been actively enforcing the regulations under the Act that cover those people who have travelled outside Canada and exhibit flu-related symptoms and received a red quarantine order receipt from Canada Border Service Agency officials. To get in touch with Ottawa Police with respect to offences in relation to orders issued under the Federal Quarantine Act you can call 613-236-1222, extension 7502.
Ottawa Public Health, which is monitoring those undergoing COVID-19 testing, follows up directly with those residents receiving a positive COVID-19 test results. They establish a list of close contacts for follow-up investigations and to explain the self-isolation process. Each person also receives a Self-Isolation factsheet to ensure they understand the requirements for self-isolation.
While many people feel burdened by restrictions and enforcement, these are in place to protect you and the health of your family, friends and fellow neighbours. The sooner we can flatten the spread of this virus, the sooner we can return to the lives and freedoms that we have taken for granted. Let’s remain united by keeping apart.