Police talk with people as they gather in a park amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in Montreal, Sunday, April 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Ontario residents are facing new stay-at-home orders as officials in several provinces tighten restrictions and crack down on rule-breakers in a race against COVID-19 and its variants.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and it will mean stores selling essential items can stay open but will only be permitted to sell grocery and pharmacy items.
Premier Doug Ford says his government will declare its third state of emergency of the pandemic to invoke the new measures.
He says the order is necessary to fight the third wave of the pandemic that threatens to overwhelm the health-care system.
Stores providing essential goods will remain open during the four-week period, but will only be permitted to sell grocery and pharmacy items.
The announcement means Ontarians will join residents of Quebec and Alberta in waking up to new restrictions Thursday.
The move comes a day after Premier Jason Kenney said widespread rule-breaking forced his government to shut down indoor dinning, curb indoor fitness and reduce retail capacity.
Quebecers in hot spots also prepared for new restrictions on gyms and faith gatherings, while officials expanded access to COVID-19 vaccines for essential workers like teachers and first responders in Montreal.
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