Ontario will going into a province-wide lockdown beginning the day after Christmas. Premier Doug Ford says the decision was necessary because the numbers of COVID-19 infections are accelerating at an alarming rate.
The strict lockdown will force nearly all non-essential businesses to close.
It will begin at 12:01 on December 26th, lasting two weeks for the northern part of the province and four weeks for the southern part.
"This difficult action is without a doubt necessary to save lives and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed in the coming weeks," said Ford
"Make no mistake thousands of lives are at stake right now. If we fail to take action now, the consequences could be catastrophic.”
The lockdown will be similar to what occurred in March. There will be no public events or social gatherings, except with members of the same household. Elementary and secondary schools will close for in-person learning until January 11. Secondary school students in southern Ontario won’t be allowed to return until January 25.
Ontario has seen the number of COVID-cases exceed 2,000 a day for the past seven days. Ford says the number of cases in areas already restricted, such as Toronto and the Peel region, remain high. Health authorities say people are not staying home and instead are traveling to other areas, thereby spreading the virus.