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Nature's Emporium in Newmarket among 16 charges in COVID-19 enforcement today

L.A. Fitness in East Gwillimbury, Richmond Hill Costco and Walmart also charged in 256 inspections across the region Nov. 29

At the direction of York Regional Council, the York Region COVID-19 enforcement task force is increasing inspection activity this weekend. Today, members of the task force visited 256 businesses across the region to ensure compliance with current public health restrictions and measures.  

Inspections carried out indicate most businesses and customers across York Region are adhering to COVID-19 safety measures and protocols. However, there were 16 charges laid against residents and businesses as of 3 p.m. today.  

On-going enforcement activities have resulted in 867 inspections, 32 charges and 1,151 compliance education activities since Friday, Nov. 27, 2020.

The following York Region businesses were issued charges under the provincial Reopening Ontario Act and Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act: 

  • LA Fitness, Town of East Gwillimbury  
  • St. Phillips Bakery, Township of King  
  • McDonalds, 5225 Highway 7 location, City of Markham  
  • Foody Mart, City of Markham  
  • Winco Food Mark, City of Markham  
  • First Markham Place, City of Markham  
  • Nature’s Emporium, Town of Newmarket (two charges)  
  • Costco, City of Richmond Hill (two charges)  
  • Walmart, 255 Silver Linden Drive location, City of Richmond Hill  
  • Tim Hortons, 1600 Steeles Avenue location, City of Vaughan  
  • TRIO Sportsplex, City of Vaughan (two charges)  
  • Lowe’s, City of Vaughan (two charges)

During inspections the enforcement task force conducted 267 compliance education activities:  

  • 54: physical distancing  
  • 59: face coverings  
  • 99: business regulations  
  • 55: gathering limits

Throughout the weekend, officers from the COVID-19 task force visited malls, big box and retail stores, restaurants, food premises, fitness centres and various other locations to ensure public health measures are being met.  

A complete list of charges and closures is available on  

Businesses failing to keep their customers and employees safe by not adhering to the mandated COVID-19 safety measures will be subject to fines. Repeat offenders could face temporary closure.

Task force members are composed of representatives of Bylaw officers from all nine municipalities in the Region, York Region Public Health Inspectors, York Regional Police, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and Provincial Offense Act court prosecutions.

It will be a different shopping experience this season.  

As we move into the holiday season it’s important to be cautious as we continue to experience an increase of COVID-19 in our communities.

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home as much as possible. However, we recognize sometimes that is not possible.

Here’s some tips to shop safely this weekend and throughout the holidays:   

  • Before going out make sure what you’re looking for cannot be ordered online from a local business  
  • If you must go into a store, try and time your trip for off-peak hours where it will be easier to maintain physical distancing with others 
  • Inquire about curbside pick-up and other safety shopping measures the store has in place 
  • Plan and know what you need from each store to limit the amount of time you spend there  
  • Follow the rules set out by the store and please be patient if waiting in line due to occupancy limits 
  • Follow directional arrows and store signs set out by staff as these are in place for everyone’s safety  
  • A face mask or covering is required while in public spaces, including retail stores  
  • Know the new regulations required of malls and retailers

Guidance and resources to help businesses operate more safely during COVID-19 are available at and