Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that beginning on Monday, Nov. 23 Toronto and Peel will be moving to lockdown restrictions.
“The situation is extremely serious and further action is required to avoid the worst-case scenario,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said at a press conference on Friday.
The measures under lockdown include:
No indoor organized public events or social gatherings except with members of the same household, individuals who live alone may consider having close contact with one other person
Outdoor event gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people
Retail stores providing non-essential services in shopping malls can operate through pickup or delivery
Non-essential storefront retail can stay open for curb-side pickup or delivery only
Restaurants can only stay open for takeout and delivery
Wedding services, funeral services, religious services, rites or ceremonies where physical distancing can be maintained can have up to 10 people indoors or 10 people outdoors
Gyms, sports facilities, cinemas, casinos, museums and personal services cannot operate
Manufacturing, agriculture, supply chain and most construction can continue
Post-secondary schools open for virtual learning with some limited exceptions for training that can only be provided in-person (clinical training or training related to a trade)
Schools and childcare will remain open, as well as grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, discount and big box retailers selling groceries, beer, wine and liquor stores, safety supply stores, and convenience stores, can operate at 50 per cent capacity.
Ford also pleaded for people in lockdown regions to not panic buying items, urging people in Toronto and Peel to only buy what they need for a week or two.
The following regions have been given new restriction levels, beginning on Monday, November 23, 2020:
Durham Region Health Department
Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
Huron Perth Public Health
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
Southwestern Public Health
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
Chatham-Kent Public Health
Eastern Ontario Health Unit
Grey Bruce Health Unit
Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
Peterborough Public Health
Thunder Bay District Health Unit
“Public health units will stay in their level for a minimum of 28 days, or two COVID-19 incubation periods, at which time, the government will assess the impact of public health measure s to determine if the public health unit should stay where they are or be moved to a different level,” messaging from the provincial government reads.
People can be fined $750 for breaking public health rules and the province is providing $600 million in relief funding for businesses.
“Tough times don’t last but tough people do and we have the toughest people, the most resilient people anywhere in the entire world,” Ford said.
Visitor restrictions apply to long-term care homes in the Orange-Restrict level or higher. Staff, essential caregivers and support workers who provide direct care to residents must be tested weekly, as of Nov. 23.
“The discussions over the last few days have not been easy,” Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said. “Moving regions into more stringent levels is never a decision that is taken lightly but recent data, trends in key public health indicators, continue to worsen for many regions in the province.”
He added that provincial officials are asking people to not travel to areas with less restrictions than where they reside, “unless it’s really an essential visit and necessary to do so.”