LONDON, ONT. -- City of London bylaw officers have charged two pawn shops for breaching orders from the province amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, the unidentified stores were each issued a provincial offence notice for being open as a non-essential business.

“These orders are in effect to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said chief bylaw officer, Orest Katolyk in a news release.

“We know this is a difficult time for everyone, and that includes businesses in our community, however these orders cannot be taken lightly. We need everyone to be doing everything they can to stop this virus from spreading.”

Penalties under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and include a fine of $750 for failure to comply, or $1,000 for obstructing any person in exercising a power if a provincial offences officer issues a ticket.

Failure to comply with an emergency order could carry punishments of up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual, $500,000 for a director of a corporation, or $10,000,000 for a corporation.

On March 25, premier Doug Ford ordered all non-essential businesses in the province to close.

Residents are urged to report violators by emailing the city of London ( or calling 519-661-4660.