The Ontario government announced new restrictive measures for the province on Monday, forcing Ontario into yet another lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Under the new lockdown regime, no indoor organized public events and social gatherings are prohibited except for members of the same household. For outdoor organized public events and social gatherings, there is a limit of 10 people outdoors.
All non-essential retail outlets must close, offering only curbside pick-up. However, grocery stores and “big box retailers” are permitted to remain open.
Restaurants and bars are closed for dine-in service, and only permitted to offer take out, drive through or delivery.
Religious services, weddings and funerals are limited to 10 people indoors and 10 people outdoors.
Elementary and secondary schools will be moving to remote learning from January 4 – January 8. Elementary school students will return to in-person learning on January 11th and secondary school students will resume in-person learning on January 25th.
The government advises all Ontario residents should stay home as much as possible and that trips outside of the home should be limited and for “essential purposes” only.
A full list of the lockdown measures can be found on the Government of Ontario’s website.
The new rules will go into effect beginning on December 26, 2020 until Saturday January 9, 2021 for all of Ontario. However, for regions in Southern Ontario, the restrictions will remain in effect until January 23, 2021.
In October, a World Health Organization official urged world governments not to plunge their citizens into a second lockdown this year.
“We in the World Health Organisation do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” said Dr. Nabarro in an interview with The Spectator.
“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganise, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”