Canada’s largest city announced Friday that it would enter a lockdown to contain a spike in coronavirus cases. Toronto will spend 28 days in lockdown as shops, businesses, and restaurants shut their doors, and a ban placed on outdoor gatherings goes into effect.
Under the lockdown, retail establishments will be open for curbside pickup only, and restaurants and bars will be limited to takeout. Grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open at 50% capacity.
CNN is reporting that the lockdown will begin on Monday. Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that indoor gatherings between household members would be banned altogether, and outdoor groups are limited to 10 people.
“We cannot afford a province-wide lockdown, so we are taking preventative action today by moving Toronto and Peel into lockdown level restrictions,” he said. “We need to take decisive action to stop the spread of this deadly virus.”
Ontario has been battling a surge in COVID-19 infections, with Toronto hit the hardest. Ontario recorded more than 1,400 new cases on Friday, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to over 100,000. Toronto broke its record for new infections on Tuesday and has reported several hundred new cases a day.
For the duration of the lockdown, houses of worship, funerals, and wedding services will continue with a maximum of 10 people in attendance. Schools will remain open.
When asked if Canada would enter into a nationwide lockdown, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the country is “not there yet.” He acknowledged regional lockdowns are a possibility and urged Canadians not to travel abroad this winter.
“People are safest when they stay home in Canada,” Trudeau said.