TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford has announced the closure of all non-essential services in Ontario in attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. The closures, which will last 14 days, come into effect today at 11:59 p.m. The newest announcement comes as Ontario experiences the largest spike in COVID-19 cases to date, bringing the provincial total to more than 500.
Restaurants offering takeout and delivery services will be allowed to remain open, along with hotels/motels, grocery stores, pharmacies and the LCBO. A full list of exceptions can be found here.
“The next 36 hours will give non-essential businesses the chance to adapt and prepare,” the premier said at a press conference held yesterday. “This was a very tough decision but it’s the right decision. This is not the time for half-measures. This decision was not made lightly. The gravity of this order does not escape me. But as I said from day one, we will and must take all the steps to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Ford said the order doesn’t mean all businesses need to shut down completely, as some may be able to continue operations from outside their facilities. He also noted the province is looking into enforcement measures for those who don’t comply with the order.
“If they want to break that, well there will be consequences,” he said. “We are all in this together…do the responsible thing and close your shop.”