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Province says no public events, social gatherings over five people

TORONTO — The province is taking further action in their efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

On March 28, Premier Doug Ford announced that the government has issued an emergency order to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately.

The order was issued on the advice of Ontario’s chief medical officer of health under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

There are some exceptions to the order, Ford said. The order will not apply to private households with five or more people, to child care centres that are open to provide care from frontline health care workers and first responders (as long as the number of people at each centre does not exceed 50 people), and funerals with up to 10 people will be permitted.

“If we are going to stop the spread of COVID-19 now and keep our communities safe, we need to take extraordinary measures to ensure physical distancing,” said Ford. “I strongly encourage everyone to do the responsible thing and stay home unless absolutely necessary. I can assure everyone that we will do everything in our power to stop this virus in its tracks.”

The province has defined organized public events as public events including parades, private events include weddings, social gatherings and communal services within places of worship.

The order issued on Saturday also replaces a previous order that prohibited organized public events over 50 people.