The Ontario government announced today it is moving Toronto and Peel Region into lockdown on Monday morning in an effort to stem the growing number of COVID-19 cases in each area.
During his daily media briefing, Premier Doug Ford announced that, in an effort to keep schools open, protect long-term care homes from widespread outbreaks and keep hospitals from being overwhelmed, the City of Toronto and Region of Peel will move into a lockdown effective as of Sunday midnight. Citing statistics that in recent weeks COVID-19-related hospitalizations were up 22 percent and ICU admissions up 50 percent, Ford said the situation across the province is “extremely serious.”
Among the restrictions in lockdown:
No indoor private gatherings with anyone outside your household, and individuals living alone are permitted to have exclusive contact with one other person.
Outdoor organized activities are limited to 10 people.
Weddings, funerals and religious services are restricted to 10 people indoors or 10 people outdoors.
Retail stores are permitted to open for curbside pickup or delivery, with exceptions for grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, beer, wine and liquor stores, safety supply stores and convenience stores.
Indoor dining at bars and restaurants is prohibited. Restaurants and bars will only be able to provide takeout or delivery.
Personal care services, casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments must remain closed.
Indoor sports and recreation facilities — including pools — will be closed with limited exceptions.
The lockdown is to stay in effect for a minimum of 28 days.
The lockdown announcement also included moving other regions on the province’s COVID-19 scale, including moving Durham and Waterloo regions into the Red – Control zone.
Citing the good news about potential vaccines coming from Pfizer and Moderna, Health Minister Christine Elliott asked for patience and acceptance: “There’s light at the end of the tunnel. But now, more than ever, everyone must follow public health advice and adhere to the restrictions in your region.”
Support for Businesses
In an effort to help businesses in areas in Lockdown and Red-Control, the province is doubling support – to $600 million – to help with fixed costs such as utilities and property taxes. A detailed list of eligible businesses, as well as instructions for applying, can be found here (Ontario.ca/covidsupport).