NEW Is Halloween cancelled?
Canada's top public doctor Dr. Theresa Tam said "There's no need to cancel Halloween this year as long as trick-or-treaters respect the new realities of the pandemic". Federal and Provincial Health Officials as well as the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Orders and recommendations supersede any set by Essa Township during a state of emergency. Essa residents will have to decide if they feel comfortable handing out candy and parents will have to decide if they feel safe permitting their children to participate in trick-or-treating this year.
Can residents have garage or yard sales during the Pandemic?
Yes garage/yard sales are now permitted, however there is a limit on the number of people allowed to gather in accordance with Public Health Ontario.
If you are organizing a yard sale at your home, have hand sanitizer available and encourage people to social distance.
How do regulations regarding social gatherings affect Farmers Markets?
Farmers Markets are viewed as outdoor grocery stores by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and are considered essential. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit closely monitors Farmers Markets, for more information please click here. When visiting a Farmers Market social distancing is required.
Can I gather with my friends or neighbours at my home?
Effective September 19, 2020, you may have an unmonitored social gatherings of up to 10 people inside your home or up to 25 people outside your home, however you must maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from other people who are not part of your household or social circle. This includes PRIVATE functions such as parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs, wedding receptions (held in private residences), backyards, parks and other recreational areas. [*These new rules do not apply to organized public events held at a place operated by a business or organization in accordance with O. Reg. 364/20 (ie: cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, restaurants, gyms, recreational sporting or performing arts events)].
If you are having a social gathering in excess of 10 people for an indoor gathering or 25 people for an outdoor gathering, then you are not complying with Provincial Orders. You run the risk of being fined under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (minimum $10,000.00 fine).
If you are not practicing social distancing, you run the risk of being charged in accordance with the fines set out in 2020-33 COVID-19 Emergency Measures-Social Distancing.
Can Guests attend Wedding and Funerals?
Wedding and funeral ceremonies taking place indoors are limited to 30% of the venue capacity, while mainaining two-metre physicial distancing between attendees. Funeral establishments must ensure that there is one staff member for every ten guests. Outdoor weddings or funerals will be limited to 100 attendees. For both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, those attending must follow proper health and safety advice, including practicing physical distancing from people who are not from the same household or their established 10-person social circle.
Will I get a fine if I have a outdoor social gathering of more than 25 people?
Yes you may. Charges may be laid by either the OPP or the By-law Enforcement Officer for those who choose to violate Provincial Orders including having a private outdoor social gatherings of more than 25 people or a private indoor gathering of more than 10 people. People found to be violating Provincial Orders may receive a ticket with a set fine of up to $10,000.00 per charge. Officers may also lay a charge by way of a summons in which case the penalties are more severe and can range from $100,000 for individuals, $500,000 for Directors or Officers of a Corporation and up to $10,000,000 for a corporation. Also offenders may be subject to up to one year imprisonment.
Additionally, for persons not practicing social distancing may be fined $500.00 per occurrence under the Township's Social Distancing By-law 2020-33.
I want to have a recreational camp fire with my family, are we allowed to have a camp fire?
Yes, the Township of Essa has lifted the fire ban as of May 1, 2020. However, you must have a Burn Permit. To purchase a Burn Permit please click here.
Can we still walk through the Township parks, or can I fish at the Fishing Park?
All parks (including play structures), Recreation fields and greenspaces that are maintained by the municipality are open to the public. The Don Ross Fishing Park and the Nottawasaga Fishing Park are both now open, an Access Pass is required to fish in Essa Township fishing parks. The Thornton-Cookstown Trail and the Angus Rippon-Pine River Trail have re-opened. Please remember to continue to social distance and help us to fight Covid-19.
At this time, County of Simcoe Forests remain open to the public. Please visit the County of Simcoe Website for more information about trails under their jurisdiction.
Who can I contact if an essential business is not complying with social distancing?
Complaints with respect to social distancing in essential businesses can be directed to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit at (705) 721-7520.
Who do I call if someone is not self-isolating after travel?
You can contact the Federal government directly at 1-866-225-0709 or the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit at (705) 721-7520.
How do I know what businesses are permitted to be open?
The Ontario Government has issued a list of essential workplaces that are permitted to be open during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The list of essential workplaces can be found here.
The Province has provided the public with a breakdown of FAQs in regards to essential businesses. Click the link provided to access these FAQs.
I am a business owner - I have questions about the Provincial Orders for Essential Businesses
Businesses with questions about the order are encouraged to call the Province's toll-free Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
Who can I contact if a non-essential business is still operating when they're not supposed to be, per the Provincial Orders issued?
You can contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.
Who do I contact if a business is price gouging?
If you are aware that a business is price gouging you can contact the Consumer Protection Ontario Call Centre at 1-800-889-9768.