Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency for Ontario on Tuesday morning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a decision that was not made lightly,” said Ford. “We are facing an unprecedented time in our history.”
This declaration means that several facilities and businesses are legally required to close, effective immediately, province-wide, including:
- All facilities providing indoor recreational programs
- All public libraries
- All private schools as defined in the Education Act
- All licensed child care centres
- All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies; and Concert venues
Beyond the above, IKEA Canada has closed all its stores across the country.
Further, while it was recommended by Toronto Public Health on Monday, Ontario has now prohibited public events of over 50 people, and now mandated the closure of restaurants and bars until March 31.
Restaurants can still provide take out, but many have opted to close entirely. Be sure to call ahead if you were hoping to order delivery or pick-up for dinner.
This comes into effect immediately, and the province will reassess the situation following the two-week state of emergency.
“This is not a provincial shut down,” Ford said. “I repeat, this is not a provincial shut down.”
And, as such, there are several businesses, facilities, and services that continue to run during this time, including:
- Grocery stores
- GO Train and UP Express (reduced service)
- LCBO (11 am to 6 pm only)
- Beer Store
- Restaurants offering delivery or take-out (call ahead)
“We must flatten the curve and help stop the curve of COVID-19,” Ford said. “We must come together as a province.”
As of Tuesday morning, there are 185 cases in the province, with five resolved and 1567 under investigation.
With files from Yasmin Aboelsaud.