Canada’s Ontario imposes a four-week lockdown as Covid-19 cases surge

James Marshall
April 8, 2021

Less than a week since announcing a province-wide shutdown, Ontario Premier Doug Ford says tougher restrictions are on the way. "We need to hunker down right now", Ford said at a briefing in Toronto.

The order requires people in Canada's most populous province to stay in their residences except for essential reasons, including exercise, vaccination appointments or grocery trips.

Other changes under the state of emergency and stay-at-home order include non-essential businesses only being able to offer curbside pick-up and delivery between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m, while delivery to patrons can happen between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

The stay-at-home order rules include "requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for exercise close to home, and with the people you live with, or for work that can not be done remotely".

Retailers considered essential can open for in-store shopping by appointment only. These include medical device supply and fix shops, optical stores and auto mechanics.

There have been 19,500 COVID-related workplace inspections and investigations across the province since the beginning of 2021.

His announcement came nearly a week after Ford had to reverse the plans of reopening businesses and a couple of days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned against a very serious third wave in the country.

Hospitals in Ontario are becoming more stretched.

Toronto saw 1,174 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with 426 people in hospital and 65 receiving intensive care.

ICU admissions are rising faster than the worst-case scenario modeled by experts, Ford said. Vaccinations will start during the April break with priority neighborhoods in Toronto and Peel, then rolling out to priority neighborhoods in other hot spot regions, including York, Ottawa, Hamilton, Halton and Durham.

While tighter restrictions will be in place for retail stores, schools and daycares are set to remain open for in-person care and learning where allowed by local health units.

Ontario reported 3,215 new cases on Wednesday, according to government data.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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