Covid Canada Updates: Ontario’s province-wide lockdown began at 12:01 a.m.

Covid Canada Updates: Ontario’s province-wide lockdown began at 12:01 a.m.
Covid Canada Updates: Ontario’s province-wide lockdown began at 12:01 a.m.

Boxing day shopping is a lot different this year for Ontario residents after the province went into a pandemic lockdown at 12:01 a.m.

While restrictions were already in effect in areas such as Toronto, Peel and York Region, the rest of southern Ontario is now in lockdown until Jan. 23. Restrictions for northern Ontario will be in effect until Jan. 9.

These restrictions, aiming to curb an increase in COVID cases, come after as the province reported more than 2,100 cases on both Friday and Saturday with 81 new deaths. The number of patients in intensive care also surpassed 300 people.

Businesses deemed essential, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, will be allowed to stay open with capacity restrictions. But indoor businesses such as gyms, movie theatres and storefronts must close.

Here’s what’s permitted during lockdown:

Animal care: Veterinary clinics will be open for services “necessary for the immediate health and welfare” only of an animal, or for services with curbside pick-up and drop-off of animals. Boarding kennels and other care facilities can remain open. There is no specific information provided about animal grooming.

Childcare: All childcare will stay open, including those located in schools, but cannot accept school-aged children while in-person classes are on break. Eligible workers can apply for emergency chilcare. Before and after school programs will be suspended from January 4 to 8 and will resume January 11. All day camps will be closed.

Driving instruction: No in-car instruction will be allowed except for commercial vehicle instruction.

Film & television: Can continue production without a studio audience and with sets that allow for physical distancing.

Gaming establishments, cinemas and performing arts centres: Casinos, bingo halls and all other gaming establishments, as well as cinemas and performing arts centres, must close to the public. Rehearsals or performing a broadcast event will be permitted. Museums must close. Zoos will be closed to the public. Bathhouses and sex clubs are closed, as are strip clubs (apart from takeout food and alcohol service). Horse races will not be allowed.

Gatherings: No private, indoor gatherings of people from outside their household is allowed. If living alone, joining one other household is permitted. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people. Weddings, funerals and religious services can continue in person if physical distancing can be maintained with up to 10 people indoors or outdoors.

Gyms: All gyms must close.

Hotels and motels: Can continue to operate. Facilities like pools remaining closed.

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