Calling the situation “extremely serious” Premier Doug Ford announced on Friday that both Toronto and Peel Region will revert back to a lockdown scenario effective Monday at 12:01 a.m.
The new restrictions will remain in place for a minimum of 28 days.
Ford said the decision was made in consultation with medical officials who warned that the province is “teetering on the edge of having to delay surgeries” due to a marked increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Bars and restaurants will be closed for both indoor and outdoor dining. Take-out services, including alcohol will be available. Legal cannabis outlets will close, but can serve customers through curb-side pickup.
Gyms, personal care services and most non-essential retail stores will close, but curb-side pick up and delivery will be an option. Cinemas, casinos and bingo halls will close. Malls will remain open for the purpose of essential businesses.
Watch the full announcement below.
Among essential services that will remain open, like supermarkets, hardware stores and LCBO and beer stores, a 50 per cent capacity rule will be implemented, setting the stage for long lineups.
Schools, childcare, pharmacies, doctors, and dentist offices will be staying open during the lockdowns in Toronto and Peel.
Gatherings are limited to 10 people outdoors and no social gatherings will be permitted indoors other than with members of the same households. If you live alone you can have contact with one other household
Weddings, funerals and other religious services will be limited to 10 people indoors and 10 people outdoors, but virtual and drive-in services, rites or ceremonies will be allowed.
Barbers and salons will also be forced to close. (Full list in document below)
The Retail Council of Canada released a statement ahead of Ford’s announcement saying data shows retail outlets are “low-risk” environments.
“Retailers are safe and responsible and have done everything possible to ensure the health, safety and security of their employees, consumers and Ontarians,” the group said in a statement released Friday.
“If closures are prolonged, many retailers in Ontario who are already on shaky ground, will struggle to remain viable. Of particular concern to many is that the 12 weeks leading up to New Year’s Day can account for up to one-third of annual sales for a business.”
Most Canadians and most businesses are following the rules and they should not be punished for the irresponsible actions of a few,” it added.
The province reported 1,418 cases today, hitting the grim milestone of over 100,000 cases in Ontario. The majority of daily cases have come from Toronto and Peel Region.
The first lockdown in Ontario began on March 24 when Premier Ford ordered the shutdown of all non-essential services, but allowing grocery stores, pharmacies, and the LCBO to remain open. Restaurants were permitted to operate for take-out only.