red zone restrictions

Here are the rules for Toronto under the modified red zone restrictions

The provincial government has once again updated its COVID-19 framework following newly released modelling data that projects as many as 6,500 new cases per day in Ontario by mid-December, and many are wondering exactly what that means for Toronto as the city is set to enter the red zone tomorrow. 

Speaking during his daily press briefing at Queen's Park Friday, Premier Doug Ford said the province is "staring down the barrel of another lockdown" and that his government has lowered the threshold to move regions backwards through the stages of the framework as a result. 

Fortunately, the rules for the city won't be changing too much since Toronto's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa already announced stricter measures earlier this week on top of the red zone rules outlined by the province. 

Dr. de Villa's rules include a prolonged ban on indoor dining and indoor group fitness classes as well as the continued closure of meeting/event spaces and casino/gaming establishments. 

Cinemas and performing arts venues must also remain closed under the province's red zone rules. 

Yesterday, Dr. de Villa and Mayor John Tory also issued a clear message to residents of the city: stay home as much as possible and only socialize with members of your household. 

During today's announcement, the provincial government likewise advised all Ontarians, regardless of their public health region, to avoid close contact with everyone outside their household. 

They also said individuals and families from higher transmission regions, AKA Toronto, should avoid travel to lower transmission regions except for essential reasons.

"The latest modelling shows a concerning situation in our province. Worldwide we are seeing COVID-19 cases continue to rise, and Ontario is no exception," said Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams in a statement.

"It remains critical that everyone continue to strictly follow public health advice to protect yourself and your community. We bent the curve during the first wave and, although it will be challenging, we can do so again through the collective actions of all Ontarians."

Under the red zone rules, the legal gathering limits still allow for a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors (with social distancing in effect of course) — a rule which is actually subject to enforcement. 

The advice to stay home as much as possible and avoid contact with everyone outside your household, while not enforceable, is a strong recommendation that all people in Toronto should follow in an attempt to gain control over the spread of COVID-19.

The City of Toronto is officially set to enter the modified version of the red zone at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 14, and this will last for a minimum period of 28 days.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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