A new four-week lockdown in sight in Ontario

Doug Ford’s government should in turn announce new containment measures on Thursday. Unlike Quebec, however, these would apply throughout Ontario for a period of at least four weeks.

Posted on March 31, 2021 at 10:41 p.m.

Henri Ouellette-Vézina

According to the first information obtained Wednesday evening from well-informed sources by various English-speaking media, including CBC News and Global News, these restrictions would apply as of Saturday. But they would not be as strict as they were last December, when a stay-at-home order was issued, except for essential outings.

The goal would be to put an “emergency brake” on the growth of new variant infections, which are prevalent in Ontario. Restaurants and gyms would therefore close their doors, as would hairdressing or personal care salons as well as cultural or entertainment spaces. Conversely, outdoor sports activities, such as golf, would remain permitted for the time being.

According to initial reports, non-essential retail stores are expected to remain open, but operate at only 25% of their usual capacity. For essential retail businesses, such as grocery stores, the rate would be 50%.

As for the schools, they will continue to function normally for the time being. Sources say, however, that Mr Ford’s cabinet is not yet decided on what will be decided after the break week (spring break), i.e. the week of April 12.

A fragile situation

Ontario recorded 2,333 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths on Wednesday. It was the seventh day in a row to surpass 2,000 cases in the province.

At a press conference earlier in the day, Prime Minister Ford did not hide that an announcement was being prepared for the next day. ” Stay tuned. You will hear an announcement tomorrow, but I am very, very worried to see the cases increase, ”he insisted, while also expressing his concern about“ the capacity of intensive care ”. The number of intensive care patients stood at 396 on Wednesday, including nine who had been added in the past 24 hours.

“We all need to be vigilant during the holidays over the next few days. I’m just asking people not to get together in big groups, ”implored the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.

A priori, Ontario’s approach would therefore be more comprehensive than that of the Legault government. He chose to put three regions “on pause” on Wednesday. In Quebec City, Gatineau and Lévis, the curfew will begin at 8 p.m., while non-essential businesses and schools will be closed until April 12.

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