Province-wide shutdown starts Saturday

Premier Doug Ford in June 2020

Non-essential retail can operate at 25 percent capacity.

While the measures are not as tight as the province-wide lockdown that was imposed in December, they will affect virtually everyone, and the government is asking everyone to limit trips outside the home to necessities such as food, medication and other essential services.

"Friends, right now we're into a third wave of COVID-19".

Ford is scheduled to hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Since the start of the pandemic, the government has added 3,100 new hospital beds. The processes we now have in place to protect staff and members of the public are in compliance with the new measures announced by the Province, and will ensure ongoing business continuity as we continue to deliver the essential municipal services on which our community relies.

Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness, including gyms.

All indoor and outdoor dining in restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments is prohibited. Takeout and delivery remain an option, however.

The capacity limit for weddings, funerals and other religious services indoors is 15 per cent, while outside can be the number of people that can maintain two metres physical distance. There are also 78 confirmed COVID-19 variant cases across the region.

"I think we need to make those true ICU numbers, the true number of people who are in the ICU and standing with complications of COVID-19, as visible as possible".

"This is a top priority", he says. "I know pulling the emergency brake will be hard on many people across the province, but we must try and prevent more people from getting infected and overwhelming our hospitals".

"We are not going to be producing a stay at home order because we saw that last time that it had tremendous ill effect on both children and adults, and especially with the warmer weather coming", said Elliott.

"We have a ton of people now who are sick, most of those because of the COVID-19 variants in particular".

Premier Doug Ford announced he was implementing the "provincewide emergency brake" Thursday due to an increase in COVID-19 and COVID-19 variant cases.

"We're ready to ramp up to 1,500 once we have more vaccines", Ford says, noting millions of additional vaccines are "on the horizon".

"The current measures and framework are not working to contain the spread of this virus", reads the letter in part. Public health and infectious disease officials are warning that variants of concern are generating more rapid and widespread transmission and increasing risk.

It notes people being admitted to intensive care have contracted COVID-19 at work or have followed all the rules and only gone out for groceries. "The new variants are far more unsafe than before", Ford said.

"I think there was a lot of shock and disappointment, and obviously anger", Paola Girotti, chair of the Beauty United Council of Ontario, said about the looming shutdown in an interview with CTV News Toronto Friday morning. "That is our best protection against this deadly virus". Ahmed said a shutdown should improve the situation even more.

He says the province's vaccine rollout is not reaching the highest risk communities and that is delaying the impact of the vaccine.

Under the new category of the response framework, shutdown is similar to the grey lockdown zone, though some services originally permitted to remain open will now be forced to closed.