Today, Premier Doug Ford announced a stay-at-home order as well as new COVID-19 measures in Ontario.
Effective Thursday, January 14 at 12:01 a.m., everyone must stay home and only leave for essential trips, says the premier.
Everyone must stay home to save lives. I couldn’t be any clearer.
Premier Doug Ford
New measures will include returning to many restrictions not seen since spring.
Essential trips include going to the grocery store or pharmacy, health care services, exercise, and essential work.
"All businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home," he said.
Limits for outdoor gatherings will be lowered from ten to five, along with increased enforcement. Wearing a mask is also recommended outdoors when you cannot physically distance.
Shorter hours for non-essential businesses have been introduced.
They can now open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m, although these hours "do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores and restaurants for takeout or delivery."
An inspection blitz will take place at big box stores to ensure that guidelines are being followed. Non-essential construction will also be further restricted.
Finally, the province will return to a state of emergency, allowing the premier to enforce new measures swiftly.
This could allow him to legally mandate that more workers stay home and that businesses and manufacturing are closed, if necessary.
Additionally, schools in Windsor, Peel, Toronto, York, and Hamilton public health regions will not reopen for in-class learning until February 10, with extended emergency childcare.
"My friends, the situation is extremely serious. I just can’t stress this enough," says the premier.
"But unlike back in March. Today, we have the vaccine. It’s on the horizon. We have hope on the horizon."