Failure to practice social distancing could cost you in the pocketbook

Provincial police say fines can range from $1,000 for the public, up to $500,000 for businesses

Ontario Provincial Police warn they can lay charges against businesses and people who are not following new social distancing rules.

In a news release, police said individuals could be fined up to $1,000 while corporations could faces fines up to $500,000.

Federal, provincial and municipal authorities have implemented measures such as social distancing and business closures to combat COVID-19.

Officials say not everybody is following the rules.

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

Under emergency legislation declared this week, all gatherings of 50 people or more are prohibited and a range of businesses and organizations are not allowed to open in Ontario, including: daycares, concert venues, libraries, indoor recreation programs, private schools, movie theatres as well as bars and restaurants, except those that provide drive-thru, delivery or take-out options.

All organized public events of over 50 people are also prohibited, including parades, events and communal services within places of worship. The orders remain in place until March 31, 2020, but could be extended.