Ford shuts down province

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Changes mean Lambton restaurants will have to go back to take out only, salons will not open April 12

Premier Doug Ford has “pulled the emergency brake” for the entire province putting all 34 public health unit regions into shutdown for a period of four weeks.

There had been speculation of the move since last night.

Ford is speaking now. More details will be available shortly.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce has said school will continue for students after Easter.

Measures include only five people gathered inside with those in immediate family. Indoor and patio dining is over for a month. Religious services can have 15 per cent capacity indoors or as many people who can be distanced by two meters outdoors.

From the government’s news release”

The province wide emergency brake would put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures to help to stop the rapid transmission of COVID-19 variants in communities, protect hospital capacity and save lives.

Measures include, but are not limited to:

• Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings and limiting the capacity for outdoor organized public events or social gatherings to a 5-person maximum, except for gatherings with members of the same household (the people you live with) or gatherings of members of one household and one other person from another household who lives alone.

• Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures;

• Prohibiting personal care services;

• Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take-out, drive-through, and delivery only;Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (e.g., gyms) with very limited exceptions;

• Requiring day camps to close;

• and,Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.

• On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, all Ontarians are asked to limit trips outside the home to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community members, or exercising outdoors with members of their household.

• Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.