BREAKING | Ontario going into a month-long 'shutdown' Saturday

ford april 1

Premier Doug Ford has announced a province-wide shutdown due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and intensive care admissions.

The shutdown, will begin on Saturday April 3rd, and last for at least four weeks.

It will force all restaurants across the province to close for in-person dining (both indoors and outdoors) 

Gyms and personal care services must also cease operations.

Essential stores will remain open at 50 per cent capacity and non-essential retail can operate at 25 per cent capacity.

Ford says schools will remain open during the shutdown.  Click here to see the government's list of 'shutdown' rules.

During the emergency shutdown, schools will remain open for in-person learning with strict safety measures in place. The spring break will continue as planned for the week of April 12. In order to support working families, child care will remain open during the shutdown. Child care settings will continue to adhere to stringent health and safety measures so that they remain safe places for children and staff.

The new measures will prohibit indoor gatherings with people outside your household and outdoor gatherings will be limited to five people.

Weddings, funerals and other religious services will be capped at 15 per cent of regular indoor capacity.

The move comes after intensive care admissions at Ontario hospitals reached a new high this week, with at least 421 COVID-19 patients currently in the ICU.

Ontario has also reported more than 2,000 new infections for the past seven consecutive days.

The provincewide emergency brake would put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures to help to stop the rapid transmission of COVID-19 variants in communities, protect hospital capacity and save lives. Measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings and limiting the capacity for outdoor organized public events or social gatherings to a 5-person maximum, except for gatherings with members of the same household (the people you live with) or gatherings of members of one household and one other person from another household who lives alone.
  • Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures;
  • Prohibiting personal care services;
     
  • Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take-out, drive-through, and delivery only;
  • Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (e.g., gyms) with very limited exceptions;
  • Requiring day camps to close; and,
  • Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.