Apr 01, 2021
By Christine Ross
The Ford government is pulling the emergency brake on the entire province sending it into a four week shut down starting Saturday.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says this is not a stay-at-home order. “We are not going to be producing a stay-at-home-order because we saw that last time, it had tremendous ill effect on both children and adults,” said Elliott. “And especially with the warmer weather coming, we want people to be able to go outside.”
But this new shutdown means few changes for Toronto and Peel Region, already in the grey-lockdown, other than patios will close and restaurants and bars must offer take-out only.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams was pressed to explain how shuttering patios in high risk zones will make a difference in skyrocketing cases.
“The big issue we’re hearing around the province is that other ones outside, people from the lockdown are going to other areas and we’re seeing that spread, all of a sudden areas that were quiet, are blowing up with cases.”
Under this new emergency brake, in-person shopping is limited to 50 percent capacity in grocery and drug stores and 25 percent for all other retail stores.
Gyms will close and social gatherings will be limited to members of your household indoors or five outside.
All personal care services are off limits.
The province is adding hospital beds to the Toronto Congress Center to help with hospital capacity.
Opposition leader Andrea Horwath was quick to criticize the new measures.
“This is the same failed approach that lead to the variants of concern taking off the way they have and these are the very things that Doug Ford was warned about back in February.”
Ontario reported more than 2,500 new infections Thursday, the eight straight day of more than 2,000 cases per day.