Extending Toronto’s current COVID-19 closures could prevent a third lockdown just as the city’s patios would reopen, Mayor John Tory said.
“The worst mistake we could make right now is to ignore the advice of our medical experts and begin to reopen too quickly,” the mayor said.
“We absolutely do not want to find ourselves opening things up, even slightly, and then having to close down again just a few weeks from now.”
A slower reopening would be the “right thing to do,” Tory said, noting that it would prevent a third wave of COVID-19 that could force a shutdown in early May as the weather warms and the CaféTO program resumes.
“We all would want to have our fingers crossed that we do the right thing that the doctor has recommended in terms of being prudent about reopening and it will still allow us to actually have CaféTO patios open, and not be in another lockdown by then,” Tory said.
“[That] is precisely what we’re trying to avoid, is having an opening and then be back in a lockdown right at the time when those patios will be opening in May.”
De Villa has asked Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to delay Toronto’s return to the colour-coded system until at least March 9 as virus variants spread across the city.
“With the promise of vaccinations upon us, we need to ensure that this lockdown that we’re presently in is the last one,” Tory said.