On Monday, Premier Doug Ford announced that Ontario's lockdown will officially begin on Boxing Day.

The province-wide shutdown will last until January 9 for northern Ontario and until January 23 for southern Ontario.*

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I'm announcing today that Ontario will enter a province-wide shutdown, starting at 12:01 a.m. on December 26.

Premier Doug Ford

During this time, all non-essential businesses will be mandated to close, the premier announced in a press conference Monday.

Premier Ford also outlined other provincial restrictions to try and stop the spread of COVID-19.

No indoor organized public events are to be held.

Schools will continue learning remotely; elementary schools will return to indoor spaces on January 11, while some secondary schools won't return until January 25.

Secondary schools in the District of Algoma Health Unit, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, the Northwestern Health Unit, the Porcupine Health Unit, the Sudbury and District Health Unit, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, and the  Timiskaming Health Unit secondary schools will also be able to return on January 9th.

Childcare centres will remain open during the lockdown.

The news comes after weeks of rising COVID-19 cases in the province.

The newest modelling presented by health officials on Monday predicts that Ontario could get up to 5,000 new cases a day by late January if the provincial growth rate stays between 1% and 3%.

Additionally, ICU occupancy is expected to exceed 300 within the next 10 days in all scenarios. Ontario's worst-cast scenario indicates 1,500 occupancies by mid-January.

As of today, Toronto, Peel, York Region, Windsor-Essex, and now Hamilton are in the grey lockdown zone

*This article has been updated.

 
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