The province of Ontario is implementing another state of emergency and a stay-at-home order in response to COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths all reaching record highs.
Premier Doug Ford announced that the stay-at-home order will take place for at least 28 days, beginning on Thursday at 12:01 a.m., and it will require everyone in the province to stay at home with exceptions for essential purposes.
The state of emergency allows the Ontario government to implement new measures beyond the province wide lockdown that began on December 26th, 2020. Thus, Ontario is able to close more businesses, order people to stay home, and prohibit events and gatherings.
— CP24 (@CP24) January 12, 2021
Retailers will also be limited to shorter operation hours, and gathering sizes are set to be reduced from 10 to five people. Non-essential retail stores can remain open, but will have to close from 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
These restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that mostly sell food, gas stations, convenience stores, pharmacies, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.
The newly implemented measures now resemble the lockdown that took place last spring, during the first wave of COVID-19. Now, however, non-essential workers that are working at their places of employment will be forced to work from home, otherwise they could face fines.
Non-essential construction is set to also be restricted, including below-grade construction, except for survey. Health care services on the other hand, which includes dental offices, chiropractors, and physiotherapy can stay open.
Unlike the province of Quebec, a curfew will not be implemented in Ontario