Ontario Entering Full Lockdown
CBJ – As of this Saturday – also known as Boxing Day – the province of Ontario will be in full lockdown mode through the holidays and the edict will last well into the New Year.
The lockdown will officially begin at 12:01 am on Saturday, December 26 and last for 28 days in the southern regions of the province, and 14 days in the northern sections. That means no Boxing Day shopping, among other things. After the predetermined lockdown duration individual regions will be assessed to determine the voracity of the spread of coronavirus cases. Those regions with lower numbers may be taken out of full lockdown mode while others will continue until the rate of infection subsides.
The decision was reached by Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his medical expert advisors and Cabinet ministers.
Toronto, Peel, York Region and Windsor-Essex were already under lockdown. Hamilton entered the grey zone of the province’s tiered COVID-19 framework on Monday morning. Over the weekend it was determined the best solution was to lock down the entire province.
A major concern in leaving certain regions outside of the full lockdown is that people from the locked down jurisdictions would then travel to open regions such as Halton and Niagara and completely overwhelm malls with a ridiculously high volume of shoppers and increase the potential of spreading the virus. There have already been days where Halton and Niagara-area malls have been severely overcrowded with customers and it’s easy to assume the problem would have been even more pronounced sans a lockdown.
Some people are already criticizing the government for not implementing the lockdown immediately. Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Abdu Sharkawy said he’s worried “a lot of damage” could be done in the coming days with people flocking to stores to finish their holiday shopping before lockdown measures come into effect, which definitely seems like a valid concern.
Small businesses have been struggling to avoid bankruptcy and this is yet another economic disaster during the busiest shopping time of the year.
President and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Dan Kelly, said a province-wide lockdown is a “death sentence” for thousands of businesses.
The lockdown also means an extended Christmas holiday vacation for students in elementary, secondary and post-secondary institutions.