toronto lockdown

These are the rules for leaving your home during lockdown in Toronto

The City of Toronto officially moved into the lockdown level of the province's tiered COVID-19 framework today, and that means there are a number of new rules in place to help curb the spread of the virus.

Effective today, residents of Toronto are "strongly encouraged" to stay home as much as possible and only leave the house for essential reasons. 

These reasons include shopping for groceries and other necessities, picking up prescriptions, attending healthcare appointments, exercising, going to school, accessing child care and going to work. 

And when people in Toronto do go out into the community for essential reasons, the city recommends that only one person per household go into stores and businesses to reduce crowding. 

"By reducing the number of people who are out in the community, we reduce the number of potential contacts and exposures to COVID-19, which will drive down case counts," said the city in a release.

When leaving the house for essential trips, the city said residents should wear a mask at all times, but especially in indoor settings and when physical distancing is difficult.

And for those wondering how to continue exercising now that all gyms in Toronto are closed, the city said people are strongly encouraged to go to parks, which remain open, to get fresh air and exercise with members of their own household only. 

The city's social distancing bylaw, which requires that everyone in parks and public squares maintain a distance of at least six feet from anyone outside their household, remains in effect. 

"To avoid future or prolonged restrictions following the strict measures announced today, it is important that Torontonians follow the advice and orders of public health experts to protect the healthcare system and to save lives," reads the release. 

"The City acknowledges how challenging and difficult this is for individuals, families, businesses, and the mental and economic health of the city."

Residents are also reminded to wash their hands frequently, and to remain at home when experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

The province has additionally asked residents in regions currently in the lockdown phase, including Toronto and Peel Region, to refrain from travelling to other regions throughout Ontario.

"We have to stop this virus now to save lives, protect our most vulnerable and, ultimately, to protect our economy... We can't have a healthy economy and build back better if people are sick and continue to get sick in greater and greater numbers," said Mayor John Tory in a statement. 

"We simply cannot have a healthy economy without healthy people. This is a tough time in our fight against the virus. We all need to stay home as much as possible right now and follow the rules in order to protect ourselves and each other."

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim


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