toronto lockdown

Toronto officials urge all non-essential businesses to close amid COVID-19 pandemic

In an effort to amp up the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa is recommending that all non-essential businesses close their doors. 

Dr. de Villa said she's witnessed numerous non-essential businesses — including nail and hair salons as well as clothing stores — that have yet to shutter amid calls for social distancing. 

"If we want to be successful in protecting ourselves, our families and our community against this virus, we have to take social distancing even more seriously," Dr. de Villa said in a press conference Thursday afternoon

"And this includes non-essential businesses like hair and nail salons, and clothing stores. I am encouraging non-essential businesses that remain open to get behind social distancing. I'm encouraging these businesses to do the right thing."

Dr. de Villa emphasized that this remains a recommendation (not an order) and that all essential businesses that sell food, medication and home supplies should stay open.

City councillor Joe Cressy reiterated the sentiment on Twitter shortly after. 

"Every social interaction that doesn't happen, helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. Toronto Public Health is encouraging non-essential businesses, such as nail salons and clothing stores, to do their part in promoting social distancing," he wrote.

"We are asking every Torontonian to make every effort and take every opportunity to practice social distancing. Stay home, stay safe and take care of each other."

As of Thursday afternoon, Toronto has 128 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 people have been hospitalized with the virus. 

Lead photo by

thecityoftoronto


Latest Videos



Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Here's what to do if you encounter someone smoking crack on the TTC

Toronto's curbside patios and bike lanes barely added any traffic despite outrage

Toronto residents shaken after huge explosion at encampment under bridge

A literal road to nowhere near Toronto is a chaotic mess of road paint lines

New York Times editor shouts out Toronto's massive turkey-shaped building

Toronto construction goes from bad to worse after sinkhole found below streetcar tracks

Toronto company fined $50K after worker injured while laying pipe

People living in Toronto are feeling more socially isolated than ever before