Ontario has also announced the closure of non-essential services in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19, which has now infected more than 500 people in that province.
Premier Doug Ford explained that, as of 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, all businesses deemed non-essential will have to close. Only grocery stores, pharmacies, LCBO branches (the Ontario equivalent of the SAQ) and take-out restaurants may remain open.
In addition, businesses will also have to close their doors, except for those that produce goods deemed essential, such as medical equipment or food. A full list of businesses and businesses that can remain open will be released on Tuesday.
“The next 36 hours will allow non-core businesses to prepare and adapt,” said Ford, adding that he was aware of the “seriousness” of this measure.
The Legault government in Quebec almost simultaneously announced a similar measure for Quebec businesses and businesses.
In parallel, the Ontario government has announced the discovery of 78 new cases in the province since Sunday, bringing the total to 503 infections in Ontario since the start of the pandemic. A new death, that of an octogenarian, was also announced, bringing the total to six.
“Practice social distancing. I cannot stress this enough, “said Ford, calling on his fellow citizens to follow the isolation rules to slow the virus down.
“If you’re coming from the airport, don’t go to the grocery store. Go home and isolate yourself. […] I cannot repeat it enough. Otherwise, you put thousands of people at risk, ”he continued.
TORONTO DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY
The country’s main city, Toronto, declared a state of emergency on Monday to provide more resources to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are declaring a state of emergency to assist the City’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure that the municipal government can continue to act quickly against the pandemic and other events that may occur Said Toronto Mayor John Tory.
Describing the coming days as “crucial”, Mr. Tory also urged his fellow citizens to avoid going outside as much as possible. Torontonians should not leave their homes more than once a week to buy basic necessities, such as food or medicine, he said.
The City of Toronto alone accounts for almost half of Ontario’s coronavirus patients. The province had just over 500 midday cases on Monday.
“We have to do everything we can to reverse the COVID-19 curve. It is a battle that we must win, but we will only win if we all work together, “he argued during a press conference held remotely by videoconference.