Well, Ontario. Here we are again. As we continue to navigate the third wave of COVID-19 in the province, it looks like things are getting even grimmer. Premier Doug Ford just took to the stage at Queen’s Park to address us with some less-than-ideal news.
So what is the province facing this time? No surprise: even more restrictions.
For starters, the state of emergency and stay-at-home orders that we’re currently in are being extended for an additional two weeks. This is effective immediately and will bring our grand total at home up to 6-weeks in a row.
— CP24 (@CP24) April 16, 2021
But that’s not all. Effective this Saturday at 12:01 AM, outdoor gatherings will only be permitted with members of your own household (if you live alone you may combine with one other household).
Beginning on Monday at 12:01, there will be new capacity limits on religious gatherings, weddings, and funerals. These will be capped at 10 people.
The government is also reducing capacity at big box stores to 25%, shutting down non-essential construction, and restricting outdoor amenities like golf courses and playgrounds.
Also beginning this Monday, there will be new limitations when it comes to travel between provinces. Checkpoints at borders will go into effect, with exceptions made only for work, medical care, and transportation of goods. Ford also says he is speaking with the federal government in hopes of stricter international borders as well.
In a very grim tone, Ford stressed that the issues we’re seeing in Ontario are a matter of vaccine supply being unable to keep up with the rapidly spreading variants. Apparently, 20% of the province currently is home to 80% of the total cases. Because of this, Ford says he is focusing the vaccine supply on hot spot areas and pressing the federal government for more doses.
As if all that wasn’t serious enough, there will also be increased police presence throughout the province to ensure the new restrictions are being followed. Apparently, police and city bylaw officers will now have the authority to stop anyone who is outside of their residence to ask their purpose for leaving home and to provide their address. This includes stopping vehicles and could even result in fines up to $750. Yikes.
So what you can do? As Ford says, “stay home, follow the rules, and get your vaccine as soon as you’re eligible.”
Stay healthy, friends.