Premier Doug Ford vowed a targeted approach to tighter restrictions and this afternoon announced that Toronto and Peel will be moved into “lockdown” effective Monday, November 23 at 12:01 a.m.
Hamilton and Halton which are now in the red zones remain unchanged but will have new restrictions placed on the size of gatherings: Five indoors and 25 outdoors. Niagara has moved to the orange “restrict” level.
In Toronto and Peel no indoor gatherings will be allowed beyond immediate households. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to a maximum of ten people. Religious services in these areas will also be restricted to ten people indoors and ten outdoors. Museums and casinos will close. Schools and child care centres will remain open.
The lockdown in Toronto and Peel will limit non-essential retailers to curbside pickup, ban indoor dining at restaurants, close personal care services, and close indoor sports facilities. Grocery stores, pharmacies and big-box retailers will be deemed essential and remain open, with capacity limits.
Ford said, “My friends I know these past few months have been very difficult But it’s up to everyone of us to determine our future.” He urged everyone to shop locally instead of online. “Please remember you can buy the exact same product from a local store. Support our restaurants and buy takeout.” The premier also urged people to avoid panic buying.
“We’re teetering on the edge of having to cancel surgeries. The situation is very serious requiring further action. We can’t risk overwhelming our hospitals. In certain parts of the province this virus is spreading at an alarming rate”