TORONTO — Ontario will go into a four-week, provincewide shutdown on Saturday as the government pulls its “emergency brake” in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 variants.
Premier Doug Ford announced on Thursday afternoon that the shutdown will begin on April 3. As a result, in-person dining will be shuttered yet again and further gathering restrictions will go into effect across Ontario.
“All 34 public health regions will move into shutdown for a period of four weeks,” Ford said.
“Friends, right now we’re into a third wave of COVID-19. The variants of concern are spreading rapidly. This is a new pandemic. We’re now fighting a new enemy.”
The government is using the term “shutdown” to describe the province’s third pandemic lockdown. According to the government’s guidelines, a shutdown—which appears as a sixth, white-coloured tier in the government’s framework—is similar to the old grey zone rules in which retail is allowed to open with strict capacity limits.
Under the guidelines, personal care services and gyms will be closed. Essential retail stores will be able to operate with a 50 per cent capacity limit, while other retail businesses, including big box stores, can operate at 25 per cent capacity.
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Source: CTV News