On Monday, Doug Ford announced that the entire province would be heading into a lockdown starting December 26, 2020. During this time, non-essential businesses will be forced to close in attempts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
We've asked you on Instagram what you want to know about these newest guidelines and have compiled a list of answers below.
Niagara was just moved into the red zone; will it also be going into lockdown?
Yes. Doug Ford announced on Monday that every region in the province will be moving into lockdown on December 26, regardless of what previous zone they were in.
The lockdown is currently expected to last for 14 days in northern Ontario and 28 days in southern Ontario.
During this time the current COVID-19 Response Framework, which includes coloured zones, will be paused.
Does school still start on January 4?
Students are still set to resume learning on January 4, however, it will now be virtual.
Ford announced that all Ontario schools will be shut down in the month of January while students resume classes online.
Elementary schools are expected to return to in-person learning by January 11, while secondary school won't come back until January 25.
However, secondary schools located in the following regions have the possibility to return to school at the same time as elementary students:
- The District of Algoma Health Unit
- North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
- Northwestern Health Unit
- Porcupine Health Unit
- Sudbury and District Health Unit
- Thunder Bay District Health Unit
- Timiskaming Health Unit
In a press conference on Monday, Ford stated that all essential services will still remain open.
This means that grocery stores and pharmacies will continue to serve customers.
Others, such as shopping malls and restaurants, will be open for curbside pickup and delivery only.
However, all non-essential services such as hair salons, indoor dining and indoor shopping will be forced to shut down.
Can single-person households see another household?
If you live alone, the Ontario government announced that you can make the decision to see another household.
However, it is important to note that individuals should only pick one other household to visit.
Once you have been in close contact with the one group, individuals should also continue to social distance around additional households.
How likely is it that this will continue to be extended?
Currently, the lockdown is expected to lift on January 9 for northern Ontario and January 23 for southern Ontario.
However, the Ontario government has stated that during this time, the Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases to see if these measures need to be extended.
This means that if cases continue to rise, it is possible that these lockdown measures will last longer.