Ontario has announced that a “nationwide shutdown” will begin on Boxing Day, which will last four weeks in the southern areas of the province and two weeks in the northern areas

“Unfortunately, despite the restrictions, we have seen an increasing number of people traveling between regions in Ontario,” Premier Doug Ford said during a press conference Monday

“COVID is spreading rapidly from areas with high outbreaks to areas with fewer cases Our hospitals are filling up more every day We have seen hospital admissions increase by 70 percent and intensive admissions by 80 percent over the past few weeks”

The shutdown includes a late return to personal classes for high school and elementary school students after the winter break

Officials said elementary school-age children will not be returning to classes in January as planned 4 and will instead pursue distance learning until they reach classes on Jan. Return to personal courses in all areas of the province January 11

Secondary school students in the northern areas of the province will be enrolled on Jan. Classes will also resume on January 11, while in southern Ontario, students will be working remotely through January 25

“I want to be clear: schools are not part of the COVID problem in our communities,” said Ford

“As a precaution, school closings will be extended during the winter break”

Daycare centers are expected to remain open for the duration of the closure However, during the period when primary school students are not in class, the centers are prohibited from supervising school-age children. Pre- and post-school programs must also be canceled in the week of January 4

Some parents of school-age children may be eligible for emergency care for children 4 during the week of January

Meanwhile, many businesses across the province will face restrictions throughout the shutdown, including restaurants and bars, which in turn will only be limited to take-out and delivery operations

Shopping malls, garden centers, general retail stores, hardware stores, pet stores, computer stores, and cannabis stores are limited to roadside pickup or delivery only

Discounters and big box retailers are allowed to stay open as long as they sell groceries and limit the number of people inside to no more than 25 percent of capacity

“Employers should enable and support workers to work remotely and meet household needs for virtual education and dependent care”

On Sunday, sources informed of previous lockdown plans indicated that the province had been considering new restrictions on outdoor activities like cross-country skiing or outdoor skating

However, outdoor recreational facilities are allowed to remain open, including parks and recreation areas, playgrounds, ice rinks, and snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and ice skating trails, all with physical distancing measures

Indoor social gatherings with people outside your household are prohibited, although those who live alone may visit another household

At the end of the shutdown period, Ontario is expected to return to its color-coded coronavirus response framework

It is also recommended by the government during the shutdown that anyone coming to Ontario from outside the province should self-isolate for 14 days

The government had previously planned to implement the measures from Christmas Eve, sources told Global News

When asked why the government decided to wait until Saturday to implement the new restrictions, Ford said he wanted to give companies time to prepare

“We can’t do it overnight and leave these people with inventory, especially the restaurants with food inventory”

With the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, at least 10$ 000 and up to $ 20$ 000 allocated to Eligible Companies Affected by the Closure

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“Any small business can use the support in ways that make most sense for their individual business,” government officials said in a press release

“For example, some companies need assistance with paying wages or rent for employees, while others need assistance with maintaining their inventory”

Premier Ford also expressed frustration on Monday with requests from the federal government to run COVID-19 tests at airports in the province, particularly given the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus

“We’ve been talking to the federal government about airport tests for weeks,” said Ford

Ford said if the federal government doesn’t run COVID-19 tests at the airport, the province will take action

Boxing Day

World News – CA – Ontario to enter “Nationwide Shutdown” on Boxing Day

Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/7535230/ontario-new-coronavirus-shutdown-boxing-day/