The Government of Ontario announced that the Toronto region will remain in lockdown for another two weeks at least, as the province prepares to re-open the economy.
The news comes after a press hearing took place earlier this week, in which Premier Ford announced plans to take Toronto out of lockdown on February 22.
The development follows declining COVID-19 related infections in the province.
Although the plan to end the lockdown soon has been announced, it will depend on whether COVID-19 case numbers continue to remain steady and decline.
Premier Ford spoke at Queen’s Park earlier this week. (Photo: Courtesy of Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press).
Following the end of the provincial-wide lockdown, the Government of Ontario announced that the regions will move back into the colour-coded framework.
Once the transition to the new framework is complete, Toronto residents will have a chance to shop in all retail stores again, as long as capacities are kept to 25 percent.
In his announcement at Queen’s Park earlier this week, Premier Doug Ford said: “My friends, the measures are working — staying home is saving lives and I want to thank Team Ontario, every single person, for doing your part, for following the public health measures.”
Although the plans to re-open the economy may feel like normality is returning, top Ontario health officials have stated that the new variants pose a “significant threat.”
Government officials will continue to monitor the spread, according to a report by the Government of Ontario, which also stated that “final decisions will be subject to review of the trends in public health indicators at that time.”
Statistics Canada has previously reported that the pandemic has had severe side effects on Canadians’ mental health, specifically highlighting that youth are experiencing the most significant decline. There has also been an increase in opioid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Small businesses have also been suffering throughout the pandemic due to lockdown orders. In fact, some small business owners plan to defy the current orders and open later this week.
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