After declaring its third state of emergency since the start of the COVID pandemic, a stay-at-home lockdown order will be implemented for the entire province of Ontario starting on April 8.
The announcement, made by Premier Doug Ford on April 7, came after hours of discussion with the province’s cabinet.
According to Ford, the lockdown will last 28 days, and goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 8.
“I can’t stress this enough. Things are extremely, extremely serious right now. And I’m extremely concerned,” Ford told reporters during a news conference.
“The situation is evolving rapidly, hour by hour. And as things change, as we learn more about these deadly new variants, as we see new problems arise, we need to adapt. We need to move quickly and decisively. And right now, above all else, our plan is to get needles in the arms and protect our hospitals. That’s why, today, on the advice of the chief medical officer of health I’m declaring a state of emergency,” he added.
“To boil it down as simple as possible, folks please stay home unless it is for an essential reason,” Ford continued. “The situation is extremely serious and we just need to hunker down right now, we need to limit mobility.”
Effective Thursday April 8, at 12:01 a.m., Ontario is imposing a provincewide Stay-at-Home order as a result of an alarming surge in variant case numbers and #COVID19 hospitalizations across the province. This will be in place for at least four weeks.https://t.co/aHivPz3IJ8 pic.twitter.com/0gBBphI61m— Doug Ford (@fordnation) April 7, 2021
The next wave of economic devastation begins as all non-essential businesses will be forced to close for in-person shopping, while in-person dining, gyms, and personal care services will be shuttered. Businesses will be allowed to offer curbside pickup and delivery services, but only between the hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Of course, big box stores will be allowed to remain open, though they will only be allowed to sell essential goods.
CTV News reports: “A select group of stores will be allowed to remain open by appointment only with a 25 per cent capacity limit. This includes safety supply stores, businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, rental and leasing services including automobiles and equipment, optical stores that sell prescription eyewear, businesses that sell motor vehicles and boats, vehicle and equipment repair and retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or services.”