In an effort to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Toronto and Peel Region will move into the lockdown stage as of Monday.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his ministers made the announcement this afternoon at Queen’s Park. The lockdown restrictions include:
- Avoiding indoor gatherings with anyone outside your household (in exception for individuals who live alone — they can have close contact with one other household)
- Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people
- Restaurants will be limited to take-out, drive-through, and delivery
- Religious services and weddings: a limit of 10 people indoors and 10 people outdoors
- Gyms: closed
- Non-essential retail and malls will operate on curbside pickup or delivery
- Grocery stores can operate, but with limited capacity
“This virus, it spreads like wildfire,” Ford said before announcing the sweeping restrictions.
Ford also announced that Durham and Waterloo will move into the red zone, and Huron-Perth, Niagara, Simcoe-Muskoka, southwestern Ontario and Windsor will move to the orange zone (click here for more on the province’s colour-coded framework to slow the spread of COVID).
The announcement comes as Ontario reports 1,418 new cases of COVID-19; with 400 new cases reported in Peel, 393 new cases reported in Toronto, and 168 new cases reported in York Region. Eight new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of COVID deaths in Ontario for the month of November (to date) at 315.
Of course, the new measures brought about a fiery debate across social media.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford at 3:40pm today: “Toronto will be going into a lockdown on Monday at 12:01am”
Current situation at Distillery District at 7:21pm: pic.twitter.com/EIem2o3wCb
— Kris Pangilinan (@KrisReports) November 21, 2020
I’m northern ontario and people from Toronto have been coming up here since the original lockdown. Like no lockdown is gonna stop them no matter how much they recommend no traveling. It sucks for us here.
— Jessica (@JessPettenuzzo) November 20, 2020
This is stupid! Either lock down the whole province or don’t do this. When the numbers were very low here but, high in Toronto we already had hoards of people coming here for haircuts, shopping etc. People will just drive out of Toronto and do as they please.
— Ruth (@AnneofKingston) November 20, 2020