During a press conference this afternoon, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a third provincial emergency.
He announced that effective Thursday, April 8, at 12:01 a.m., a province-wide Stay-at-Home Order requires everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), exercising outdoors, or working in a capacity that cannot be done remotely. Schools remain open. These additional measures follow last week’s announcement of a province-wide shutdown and are intended to protect health system capacity and save lives during the third wave of COVID-19.
“The numbers are clear, this virus is still spreading,” says Lord Mayor Betty Disero. “We’ve been here before and we know what to do to protect ourselves and our community. We must all of us do our part. Please stay home and only leave for essential outings. If you must go out, continue to keep your distance, wear a mask, and wash your hands.”
Seeing COVID-19 vaccinations continue to roll out “renews my hope that an end to this pandemic is near,” says Disero.
“Thank you, Niagara-on-the-Lake, for doing your part to stop the spread and protect our community.”
The order is in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, the threat on the province’s hospital system capacity, and the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants.
New measures will include, but are not limited to:
- Limiting the majority of non-essential retailers to only operate for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., with delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., and other unidentified restrictions;
- Restricting access to shopping malls to limited specified purposes, including access for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment, with one designated location inside the shopping mall, and any number of designated locations outside the shopping mall, along with other unidentified restrictions;
- Restricting discount and big box stores to in-person retail sales of grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, health care items, and personal care items only;
- Permitting the following stores to operate for in-person retail by appointment only and subject to a 25 per cent capacity limit and restricting allowable hours of operation to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. with the delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.: Safety supply stores; businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, aids or supplies, mobility devices, aids or supplies or medical devices, aids or supplies; rental and leasing services including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental; optical stores that sell prescription eyewear to the public; obusinesses that sell motor vehicles, boats and other watercraft; vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services; and retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or service, which may only permit members of the public to enter the premises to purchase a cellphone or for repairs or technical support. Outdoor garden centres and plant nurseries, and indoor greenhouses that engage in sales to the public, to operate with a 25 per cent capacity limit and a restriction on hours of operation to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.