Ontario To Go Under Lockdown from Boxing Day: What Happens To Businesses?

Summary

  • Ontario will be going under complete lockdown from Boxing Day (December 28) onwards.
  • The northern part of the province will reportedly remain under lockdown till January 9, while southern Ontario stays in lockdown till January 23, 2021.
  • As of Monday, December 21, Ontario recorded a total of about 2,123 new COVID-19 cases and 17 new deaths.

After Canada wraps up Christmas celebrations, Ontario will be going under complete lockdown from Boxing Day (December 28) onwards in an attempt to pull the reigns on the rapid spread of COVID-19. The northern part of the province will reportedly remain under lockdown till January 9, while southern Ontario stays in lockdown till January 23, 2021.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has said that the “difficult” decision was undoubtedly a necessary one in order to save lives and stop the health care system from getting overwhelmed.

Canada recently banned all passenger flights from the UK following the rise of a new mutant strain of coronavirus in the country.

©Kalkine Group Image

The lockdown will see the following changes in the province:

  • Schools will remain shut. Classes will be conducted online between January 4 and 8, following which schools may resume based on locations.
  • Childcare facilities will remain open.
  • Non-essential businesses will stay closed.
  • Essential businesses will stay open but with strict capacity limits and restrictions.
  • Public gatherings and social events will be strictly banned, except for people living in the same household.

What About Ontario’s Local Businesses?

Lockdown restrictions around the first time, during the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, saw businesses in Canada take a big hit. With a second round coming to Ontario, it is only natural to assume that local businesses will suffer once again.

A recent KPMG study had found that about 31 per cent of mid- and small-scale business owners in Canada feel that they wouldn’t survive another pandemic-led economy crash. And while a lockdown would help save lives, it is likely to cause trouble for small businesses.

Why Did Ontario Go Under Lockdown?

The government came to the decision of implementing lockdown after health advisors presented data showing that while Ontario’s capacity to control COVID-19’s spread is “precarious”, stringent shutdown restrictions for a month or so could bring down the number of daily cases to under a thousand. The advisory board, however, has stressed that the lockdown needs to last at least a month for it to be effective.

The COVID-19 advisory board projected that if Ontario continues to record infections at the present rate of three to five per cent, the province will start to see at least 3,000 to 5,000 cases on a daily basis by the end of January. And if the rate grows to seven per cent, Ontario could have at least 30,000 coronavirus cases daily.

The new data also projects that Ontario will see at least 300 ICU COVID cases in the following 10 days. If things get worse, the province’s ICU occupancy could rise to 1,500 beds by the middle of January. COVID-related death toll will also continue to rise, especially in cases of long-term care patients, said the board.

As of Monday, December 21, Ontario recorded a total of about 2,123 new COVID-19 cases and 17 new deaths.

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