Premier orders all non-essential businesses in the province to close

Premier Doug Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is ordering the closure of all non-essential businesses in the province to help deal with the spread of COVID-19.

He says the order will be effective Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. and will be in place for at least 14 days.

Ford says the next 36 hours will give non-essential businesses the chance to prepare.

He says he will release the list of businesses Tuesday that will be allowed to stay open, but food will remain on the grocery store shelves and people will still have access to medication.

The premier says it was a tough decision, but now is not the time for half measures.

Ontario reported 78 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the provincial total to 503.