UPDATE: Increased COVID-19 Restrictions and Enforcement Now in Place in Ontario
TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford confirmed Ontario will place restrictions on interprovincial travel, place enhanced rules on outdoor activities and limit essential retail to 25 per cent capacity in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Ford announced the measures at a press conference that will extend for an additional two weeks to May 20 at Queen's Park at Friday at 4 p.m.
According to Ford, there are three ways to get the spread of COVID-19 variants under control, "limiting mobility, enforcing the rules and getting vaccines in arms."
He says all outdoor recreation amenities, such as golf courses and playgrounds, will be forced to close as of Saturday.
Wedding ceremonies, places of worship and other right of passage services will be limited to 10 people indoors and outdoors starting Monday at 12:01 a.m.
As of 12:01 a.m. Saturday everyone is limited to interacting with their own household. Single residents are still allowed to visit a chosen extended household.
Ford says all non-essential construction will be halted, and essential retail, including big box stores, will have their capacity further reduced to 25 per cent.
Sale of essential items such as food and medical supplies and services are considered essential during the lockdown.
Ford says the province will be setting up checkpoints to eliminate inter province travel starting Monday at 12:01 a.m. with the exception of travel for work or transporting supplies.
Enforcement will also be ramped up according to Ford. He says enforcement officers across the province will be granted "special authority" under the state of emergency.
The solicitor general says police will temporarily have the authority to stop and inquire about the purpose of a person's trip and can levy enforcement measures.
The news comes after Ontario released new COVID-19 modeling data that showed the third COVID-19 wave would continue into the summer if the current stay-at-home-order does not last six weeks and if Ontario does not support high-risk communities and increase vaccinations.
Experts with Ontario's COVID-19 science advisory table presented the new data during a news conference on Friday amid record-breaking COVID-19 infections rates and as an unprecedented number of people fight the deadly disease in intensive care.
A Statement from the Office of Premier Doug Ford released around 3:30 p.m. says vaccinations are an issue.
"As you would have seen in today's modelling, if Ontario had the supply to ramp up to at least 300,000 vaccinations a day, it would have a significant impact on our ability to get a handle on this third wave," the statement says.
It goes on to say, "unfortunately, we know in the short term we are not expecting to get the supply we require to do so. That's why, today, Premier Ford will unveil additional restrictions to help reduce mobility and slow the spread of COVID-19."
The province says, "if the federal government can do to help us get more supply sooner, now is the time to do it."
A full list of restrictions under the provinces "emergency break" can be found at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions.
— with files from CTV News.