Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced on Wednesday that the "further restrictions" he alluded to at yesterday's press conference would take effect.
Ford announced that, on the advice of the chief medical officer of health, a state of emergency would be implemented, along with a province-wide stay-at-home order, starting at 12:01 am on Thursday.
Non-essential retail stores will go back to curbside pickup, with delivery allowed from 6 am to 9 pm. Big box and discount stores will be allowed to sell essential items only, such as food, medicine, cleaning supplies, and personal care items. Garden centres have also been given the greenlight to remain open.
All measures are in addition to the so-called "emergency brake" measures initiated last week.
"I know this is tough on businesses, but I promise we will continue to have your backs," said Ford.
Ford added that residential evictions would once again be suspended.
"This will be in effect for four weeks. With a few exceptions, the stay-at-home order will be similar to what we went through earlier this year," said Ford.
Ford "boiled the situation down," telling Ontarians to stay home "unless it is for an essential order."
Ford also addressed calls from Opposition parties regarding paid sick days, saying "My message to the opposition and everyone else... There are a lot of people who are playing politics right now, and it's totally irresponsible. They're doing a disservice to the people they're telling this to. There's paid sick leave from the federal government."
Vaccines for educators
Beginning next week, said Ford, workers who support students with special education needs and all education workers in high risk neighborhoods in Toronto and Peel will be eligible for vaccines, followed by a rollout to all education workers across the province.