|Premier Doug Ford, saying Ontario „is in crisis,” announced a provincial stay-at-home order and new restrictions today.
The province says it is issuing the stay-at-home order effective Thursday at 12:01 a.m., which will require everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, like going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health-care services, for exercise or for essential work.
All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. Among the other measures, non-essential construction is further restricted.
Most importantly for parents of school-aged children, in person-instruction won’t begin again until at least Feb. 10 for Hamilton, Peel Region, Toronto, Windsor-Essex and York Region.
The measures come in the wake of sobering new modelling regarding hospital admissions and long-term care vulnerabilities.
Public health experts are also warning that a new, more easily transmissible variant of the virus first identified in the U.K. could begin spreading rapidly in the province. Eight more people infected with the U.K. variant of the coronavirus in Ontario were identified on Monday.