The province of Ontario will begin partial measures to block the coronavirus in two regions from Monday, officials said.
Ontario is home to Toronto, Canada’s largest city with nearly 3 million inhabitants. In the last 24 hours, Ontario has seen more than 1,400 cases, forcing Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford to begin a “blockade.”
The lock will cover Toronto and the Peel region, Ford announced on Friday.
The measures include the complete closure of gyms, leisure facilities and personal care services, while restricting insignificant retail stores, CP24 reported.
Supermarkets, hardware stores, department stores, stores, pharmacies and liquor stores are exempt from the order, but they will face a 50% capacity limit.
Perhaps most importantly, public schools will remain open under blockade, but post-secondary education institutions will only be open to virtual learning.
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“The situation is extremely serious and further action is needed to avoid the worst-case scenario,” Ford said in an announcement. “We can’t put classroom training at risk, we can’t risk widespread outbreaks in our long-term care homes, we can’t risk overwhelming our hospitals.”
“To protect our most vulnerable and to protect the most important, we need to ensure that the community is spread under control,” he added.
The current designations of the regions will remain in force for at least 28 days, which means that the blockades will continue at least until December 21, CTV News reported.
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Chief Medical Officer Dr David Williams advised residents to exercise sound personal judgment, as the province will not impose transport restrictions between regions.
“We’re all in this together,” Williams said. “You are responsible for your area, but also for areas outside yours, because we know that this affects the whole system.”
“We will have confidence and confidence that the public will do the right thing.”
The Toronto government issued a statement in support of the blocking measures, saying: “While these restrictions are necessary to reduce contacts and the spread of COVID-19, they must be implemented in conjunction with improved support to protect frontline workers and affected communities. “
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“The city of Toronto is working closely with its provincial and federal government partners to expand support for front-line workers and vulnerable Toronto residents. The city will have more to share in the coming days.”