Barrie City Hall giving businesses two days’ notice before COVID protocol violation fines handed down

As of Wednesday, four businesses have been fined after not abiding by provincial edict

The City of Barrie is giving local business owners 48 hours to comply with the latest provincial shutdown orders, or face hefty fines.

Barrie City Hall confirmed it is giving a 48-hour warning to those businesses found to be contravening provincial orders, adding it has already handed out four fines. Enforcement staff visited several locations on Tuesday evening that had been issued warnings the weekend prior.

One local business posted to social media an image of the $1,000 ticket it received from the city, before another post indicating it would close as per the order so as to prevent clients from facing similar legal woe. Another local business owner went live on Facebook on Thursday morning when a representative of the local health unit called to inform them they were contravening the law; the business owner expressed confusion over the law and questioned its justification. Other social media posts from local businesses indicate they will continue to defy the law and remain open.

This comes amid a new stay-at-home order that forces all non-essential businesses to close to in-person shopping, with only curbside pickup permitted. Pharmacies and businesses that sell groceries are allowed indoor shopping. While this does include big box stores like Wal-Mart and Costco, a quick visit to both south-Barrie locations reveals both companies had blocked off access to non-essential items by the time the stay-at-home order kicked in on Thursday morning.

Current provincial restrictions require all restaurants to close to indoor or outdoor dining, all non-essential retail to offer only curbside pickup, all hairstylists and tanning salons to close, and places a hard cap on outdoor gatherings of five people only.