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New rules as of March 30 to curb COVID case increases

Amid rising COVID-19 cases, Hastings Prince Edward Health has issued a new ‘class order’ effective Tuesday in effort to control further increases as the Easter weekend approaches.

“Given the increasing concerns of COVID-19 variants, and the risks of potential spread of COVID-19 related to Easter celebrations, these measures are necessary to prevent illness and the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH).

In accordance with the order:
Bookings/reservations for hotel/motel accommodation, personal service settings, and dine-in food services can only be accepted for individuals residing in HPEC (exceptions will include booking accommodation for individuals who are travelling to our region for essential reasons ie. health care staff, medical appointments, and emergencies and are in need of housing).

All short-term accommodations (e.g. Airbnbs, B&Bs, cottages) are immediately closed, including all bookings made prior to March 30, 2021 (Exception: booking of accommodation is permitted for individuals who are travelling to or within our region for essential reasons, i.e. health care staff, medical appointments, and emergencies, and are in need of housing).

No person shall host or attend any indoor or outdoor social gatherings with more than five persons that is held at a private dwelling, condominium, apartment building and or student residence. (exception: does not impact occupancy limits for places of business and does not include a gathering held at a place of business or an organization held for reasons related to the operations of the business or an organization).

All food and drink establishments must close to the public between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m., with limited exceptions (e.g. to pick up or pay for a takeout order).
All food and drink establishments must seat no more than five people together at a table.
All food services and personal service settings must record contact information for all patrons (exception: need not collect contact information for pick-up/carry-out orders).
All retail businesses must have a safety plan that is in writing, available on request, and posted in a conspicuous place.
All retail businesses and food and drink establishments must ensure music played is no louder than the volume of a normal conversation.
The person responsible for a business or place that is open must not permit patrons to line up inside, or to line up or congregate outside unless maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from other groups of persons and wearing an appropriate mask/face covering.
All staff at retail businesses and food and drink establishments must wear appropriate personal protective equipment if providing services within two metres of another person who is not wearing a mask or face covering and are not separated by an impermeable barrier (e.g., plexiglass). Protection of the eyes, nose, and mouth is required (i.e., goggles or face shields and surgical or procedural masks). This includes personal service settings and eating establishments where patrons temporarily remove their mask in order to receive services.

Failure to comply with this Class Order can result in fines of up to $5000 for individuals, and $25,000 for corporations for every day or part of a day on which the offence occurs or continues.

HPEPH will continue to monitor provincial rates of COVID-19 and restrictions in other regions and will review and update this Class 22 Order as needed to protect local residents.

“I want to thank the community for their continued vigilance and support in keeping our community safe and want to emphasize the importance of continuing to adhere to public health measures,” said Oglaza.

People asked to house emergency guests/essential workers, or if their STA is currently owner-occupied, are to contact the County’s STA department. Let them know in advance to avoid unnecessary enforcement calls by emailing stalicensing@pecounty.on.ca. If you believe a business or accommodation operator is not following the order, call 613.476.2148 extension 2050.

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  1. Kevin says:

    Those of us who follow the rules are still at the mercy of the irresponsible, unempathetic and “invincible” hordes that chose to travel during a pandemic to appease their own selfish needs. I thought Ontarians were better than that. I stand mistaken.

  2. Gord says:

    I get we are doing things for the right reasons but let’s use some common sense. We babysit our grandchildren two days a week as they are busy work at home days for the parents who work from home. All accept kids have been vaccinated but we can’t have dinner on Sunday but come Wednesday Thursday we can babysit the kids? I am slowly starting to wonder who is making the rules and why there is no flex room? We have followed the rules to a T for over a year and this is getting just dumb!

  3. Kevin says:

    Rules haven’t stopped people from doing whatever they want, whenever they want in Ontario. Just look around. People from other areas have been here all winter, even during lock-down, and their numbers have been increasing as the nicer weather approaches. Rules are only as good as the consequences and this province has no enforcement to dole out the consequences. Unfortunately, with Ford at the helm money will always trump health.

  4. Administrator says:

    People asked to house emergency guests/essential workers, or if their STA is currently owner-occupied, are to contact the County’s STA department. Let them know in advance to avoid unnecessary enforcement calls by emailing stalicensing@pecounty.on.ca. If you believe a business or accommodation operator is not following the order, call 613.476.2148 extension 2050.

  5. Susan says:

    Preventing a family gathering of more than 5, with folks you have been with for months is an over reach. I dare say there will be lots of family gatherings

  6. angela says:

    We need to do every thing possible to prevent spread of this virus. Forget Easter dinner, there will be other years. As for the new rules being over-reach I think we can live with them in view of the rising number of COVID cases.

  7. Cathy says:

    We have a very busy AirB&B beside us that sleeps 10 and has had at least 3 cars in the driveway most weekends this winter. Who is responsible for enforcing the rules from the HPEC? Are AirB&B owners supposed to self police? Even with the $5,000 fine, they are still making money. Would love to understand how the rules get enforced – thanks.

  8. SM says:

    It would seem that the aspect of the order limiting seating at a table in a food service business is intended to limit the group to immediate family members i.e. mom, dad and up to 3 kids. It does not limit the group to only family though. As to retail businesses, it does not seem to limit the ability to shop at any kind of retail business regardless of size of the operation. Local stores can remain open as can the big box stores. What should be obvious is this order is aimed directly at visitors from outside our health unit. It is also almost identical to the order made in February. The main difference is that order prevented visitors from locations with stay at home orders in place. As there are no such orders in place in Ontario, this current order is an update.

  9. IG says:

    It’s getting increasingly hard to accept these additional restrictions imposed locally. I understood the bans aimed at people travelling here from areas in lock down or higher levels of restriction under the provincial system but this is over reach pure and simple.

  10. Kim says:

    I am sure that people can survive not having an Easter dinner for the sake of saving lives and getting rid of covid ….

  11. Emily says:

    This will make for a very interesting Easter in the County. If you have a 6th family member perhaps they eat in the car. But you can always shop at WalMart.

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