Ontario is entering a lockdown starting on Dec. 26.
Restrictions will remain in place for southern Ontario until Jan. 23, but will lift for northern Ontario on Jan. 9. Here are some of the measures that will be in place:
STORES AND RESTAURANTS
– Restaurants can only provide take out, drive through, and delivery, including the sale of alcohol.
– Supermarkets, convenience stores, indoor farmer’s markets and other stores that primarily sell food may stay open for in-person shopping with physical distancing and a 50 per cent capacity limit.
– Pharmacies are open for in-person sales with physical distancing and a 50 per cent capacity limit.
– Discount and big box retailers that sell groceries may remain open if the store does not exceed 25 per cent capacity of rooms open to the public.
– Shopping malls must close for in-person retail, with the public only allowed to enter if it’s to access businesses and organizations permitted to be open (e.g., pharmacy, dentist).
– Liquor stores can may open if the store does not exceed 25 per cent capacity of rooms open to the public.
SCHOOLS AND CHILD-CARE:
– Children at publicly-funded elementary and secondary schools will participate in remote learning from Jan. 4 to Jan. 8.
– In northern Ontario publicly funded and private schools will be permitted to resume in-person instruction on Jan. 11.
– Elementary schools in southern Ontario will reopen on Jan. 11. Secondary school students in southern Ontario will continue remote learning until Jan. 25.
– Child-care centres will remain open for the duration of the provincewide shutdown period. However, during the period where elementary schools are operating virtually, licensed child care centres will be prohibited from serving school-aged children.
– No indoor social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone and single parents may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation.
– Weddings, funerals and other religious rites, ceremonies and services can go ahead with a maximum of 10 people — indoors or outdoors — and only with physical distancing in place.
– The province advises Ontarians to stay home “to the fullest extent possible.”
SPORTS AND RECREATION:
– Indoor recreation facilities must close, including indoor courts, pools and rinks.
– Indoor sports must stop, except for “high performance” and professional leagues such as the NHL or MLS.
– Community centres can open only for permitted services such as child care.
– Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments must close.
– Cinemas — with the exception of drive-in theatres — must close.
– Zoos and aquariums must close to the public.
– Museums and cultural amenities must close.
– Personal care services such as hair salons and spas must close.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2020.