After weeks of rising COVID-19 cases, Ford announces a regional lockdown for hot spots
Toronto and Peel region will go into lockdown effective Monday, Nov. 23 at 12:01 a.m., announced Premier Doug Ford from Queen’s Park on Friday.
A number of measures were announced as part of the regional lockdown after days of speculation over more stringent restrictions for hot spots. These measures include a ban on indoor public and social gatherings, with the exception of weddings and other ceremonies that may have up to ten people in attendance. Non-essential businesses will be closed. Individuals living alone may stay in contact with one other household and schools will remain open. Businesses will also remain open for curbside pickup only. Fines of $750 per person will be issued for non-compliance.
“We cannot afford a provincewide lockdown, so we are taking preventative action today by moving Toronto and Peel into lockdown-level restrictions and other regions into higher levels of restrictions. We need to take decisive action to stop the spread of this deadly virus,” said Ford.
Ford also announced a $600-million investment to support businesses affected by the newly announced measures. This fund will help businesses pay bills such as hydro bills and property taxes.
The lockdown comes after weeks of increasing COVID-19 cases concentrated in Toronto and Peel region, with 80 per cent of the province’s cases coming from those two areas. With hospitalizations and intensive care numbers spiking, some hospitals have scaled back on elective surgeries. Ontario modelling released last week projected the province could see 6,000 cases per day by mid-December.
In addition to the measures for Toronto and Peel, other regions were moved from their current level in the provincial framework, with Durham and Waterloo moving to the red zone.
For more details on the newly announced measures, the official news release is available here.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that indoor gatherings of up to ten people were permissible.