Doug Ford officially announced Ontario's shutdown is beginning on Saturday, April 3, at 12:01 a.m.\nAt a press conference on Thursday, Premier Ford confirmed his government is pulling the "emergency brake," triggering an Ontario-wide shutdown that will last for at least four weeks.\nEditor's Choice: 'This Is The Last Chapter' Of Ontario's COVID-19 Battle, According To An Expert\n\nUnder the province's shutdown restrictions, non-essential retailers (including big box stores) can stay open at 25% capacity and essential retailers can stay open at 50% capacity.\nIndoor and outdoor dining at restaurants is prohibited for the whole province, but takeout, drive-thru, and curbside pickup can continue.\nOntario's personal care services (like barbers and salons) and indoor and outdoor fitness facilities (like gyms) must be closed under the new shutdown restrictions, and employers are being asked to make every effort to allow employees to work from home.\n\nWhat does Ontario’s shutdown look like?\nUnder the new lockdown restrictions, Ontario says residents should only go outside for the following activities:\n\nWork, if you can’t do it remotely\nSchool\nGroceries\nPharmacy\nHelping vulnerable people\nExercise and physical activity\n\nHowever, non-essential businesses and shopping malls are still staying open at a limited capacity.\nOutdoor gatherings are also permitted, but only with a maximum of five people who must all stay two metres away from one another.\nIndoor gatherings with anybody outside of your household are not allowed, but indoor religious services are allowed at 15 percent capacity.\n"Please understand, this decision was not made lightly,” said Premier Ford. "I know the toll these restrictions continue to take."\n\nWhy is Ontario going back into a shutdown?\n"The bottom line is, we need more time," Premier Ford said at Thursday’s press conference.\n"We need to close the gap between where we are and where we will be with the millions of vaccines we're expecting by June."\n“We are in a desperate race against an extremely aggressive and fast-moving virus,” he added.\nTwelve days ago, Ontario announced it would be loosening restrictions in several of the colour zones in the province.\nBut now, scientists and experts across the province say they’re worried about how bad things could get.\n\nAccording to the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, all of Ontario’s key COVID-19 metrics are getting worse.\nThey said Ontario’s number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions are as high, if not higher, than they were when the province shut down in December.\nAccording to the group, those infected with variants of concerns have a 62% higher risk of hospitalization, a 114% higher risk of ICU admission, and a 40% relative increase in deaths.\n"This. Is. Different," the Science Advisory Table tweeted on Monday, March 29. "Ontario is in more danger than before."