Last week, Durham Regional Police arrived at a Whitby home and broke up an allegedly “illegal” outdoor minor hockey practice.
According to Durham Radio News, the police received a complaint on Sunday about a gathering in the home.
Twelve children and coaches were found to be using an outdoor ice rink in the backyard and parents had also gathered to watch their children practice hockey. The police claim those in attendance were not socially distanced.
Prior to Ontario’s second state-of-emergency, the outdoor gathering limit was 10 people.
Each attendee may receive a ticket of $750 and the organizer may be fined $10,000 for non-compliance. The homeowner was also charged under the Reopening Ontario Act and received a court summons.
Since the pandemic began, Durham Police have issued 13 tickets and eight charges under the Reopening Ontario Act. In addition, 16 tickets and 11 charges have been laid under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
On January 14, in light of a spike in coronavirus cases, the Ontario government plunged residents into a further lockdown. All residents of Ontario are advised to stay at home as much as possible while outdoor gatherings are limited to 5 people.
The Government of Ontario is also recommending people to wear masks while outdoors if they can’t follow appropriate physical distancing.
Under the new order, the province has given all law enforcement officers the ability to issue tickets to those found not to comply.
While police in Durham say officers will continue to enforce compliance, they acknowledge that officers don’t have the authority to enter a dwelling or stop a vehicle in order to check compliance.