After juggling for several days with the idea of imposing a curfew like in Quebec, Ontario finally limited itself, Tuesday, to asking its citizens to stay at home at all times, except for a few outings. essential.
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As of 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Ontarians will no longer be able to leave their homes, except to go to the grocery store or pharmacy, to go to a medical appointment or to go for a walk. Essential workers will also, of course, be able to continue to come to work.
In doing so, the people of Ontario find themselves with a form of permanent curfew, but less restrictive than the one in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Quebec. In both cases, the measure will be in effect for four weeks, in the hope of reducing social contact and, ultimately, transmission of the virus.
In order to increase its chances, Ontario has also decided to keep its schools closed in the regions most affected by the pandemic, namely Toronto and its suburbs (the regions of York and Peel), Hamilton and Windsor-Essex until February 10. Until then, all students will be taking their course remotely. Day care centers and preschools are spared from this measure.
These instructions were accompanied by the triggering of the state of emergency for a second time in the province since the start of the pandemic. The first, which entered into force on March 17, remained in place until July 24.
“Several dark days are coming, but we’ll be fine. […] The people of Ontario have been through worse. I know it won’t be any different this time around, ”Premier Doug Ford commented grimly at a press conference.
“More than ever, we need – I need – you to do your part. Stay home, save lives and help save the health care system, which is on the verge of collapse and on the verge of being overwhelmed, ”continued Mr. Ford.
The Prime Minister strongly insisted on the importance of doing his part to limit the spread of COVID-19, despite fatigue from the virus and health measures. “New data shows one-third of Ontarians do not obey public health rules. Many travel and gather, ”he lamented, once again urging his fellow citizens to limit their social contact as much as possible.
Hours earlier, Ontario had announced that these models predict that up to 1,000 people could end up in intensive care in early February, compared to 400 currently, if nothing changes. The province also expects the daily death toll to double by mid-January.
Some key measures announced on Tuesday:
– Obligation to stay at home from Thursday, except for essential outings (grocery, medical, work, exercise);
– Schools remain closed until February 10 in the Toronto, Peel, York, Hamilton and Windsor-Essex regions;
– Any employee who can work from home must do telework;
– Fines may be given to those who contravene the order to stay at home without a good reason.