Ford announces four-week 'emergency-brake shutdown' of Ontario

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announces the new shutdown due to the

Advisers said new pandemic modelling indicates the third wave is being driven by more deadly variants.

Quebec's rules include a curfew banning people from leaving their homes between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.in most regions, though the start of the curfew has been moved back to 8 p.m.in the province's three newly locked-down cities. "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".

During a news conference on Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford hinted restrictions were coming.

"Consistency (in messaging) is helpful but as part of the restrictions. we need to take care of people and let them do things safely", he said. As Premier, it falls on me.

In a four-day period last week, one physician reported treating a dozen patient in ICU all under 60, none of whom had prior medical histories. Today I need to make one of those tough decisions.

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.

Ford stressed that people should remain within their households for Easter, and also mentioned worship services would still be allowed at 15 per cent capacity.

This excludes gatherings with members of the same household or gatherings of members of one household and one other person from another household who lives alone.

In-person shopping for retail establishments such as supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies is reduced to 50 per cent capacity, while the capacity limit for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, cannabis stores, hardware stores and garden centres is reduced to 25 per cent.

48 dead after train derails in Taiwan
Volunteer rescue workers from the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation said children were among the dozens who escaped the train cars. Other Taiwan media said numerous people were standing at the time of the collision because the train was so crowded.

Outside gatherings are capped at five people while schools will stay open with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. Take-out, drive-through, and delivery service is allowed.

All indoor and outdoor sports and recreation facilities are also prohibited from operating.

Ontario, meanwhile, will pull what it dubs an "emergency brake" at midnight for the entire province, forcing the closure of personal services and in-person dining while imposing tighter capacity limits on both essential and non-essential businesses.

Ontario announced a province-wide "emergency brake" shutdown beginning this weekend as Canada's most populous province struggles to cope with a surge in ICU admissions that provincial leaders said they feared was fueled by rapidly spreading coronavirus variants.

"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". "This is a new pandemic; we're fighting a new enemy".

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

Compounding that, Brown said COVID-19 vaccinations are not reaching the highest risk communities.

He said hospitalizations in Ontario have surged by almost 42 per cent in the last two weeks.

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