WINDSOR, ONT. -- Provincial police are warning Ontario residents and businesses they will lay charges to those who aren’t complying with the government restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19.

OPP are encouraging everyone to voluntarily comply with the short-term restrictions.

While education, awareness and compliance are preferred options, officers say they will apply discretion to lay charges under the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).

Enforcement actions can include offences relating to operation of non-essential businesses and gatherings of more than five people, with some exceptions.

Police also have the authority to arrest those in non-compliance of the federal Quarantine Act at the request of a screening or quarantine officer.

OPP will continue to provide public safety services to the communities and support the efforts of federal, provincial and local health authorities during the pandemic.

Residents are urged to stay home and avoid non-essential travel, practice good hygiene and follow the Ontario Ministry of Health's recommendations in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

If you wish to file a report regarding non-compliance under the Quarantine Act, contact Public Health Agency of Canada.

For emergencies, please call 9-1-1. For all other police matters, including non-compliance to the EMPCA, please call your local police or the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. For less serious incidents, report online by visiting