ontario lockdown

Doug Ford blames Ontario lockdown on people traveling too much

The entire province is understandably buzzing about the new pandemic measures announced by Premier Doug Ford Monday afternoon, which will see all regions in Ontario subject to a full lockdown barring non-essential businesses from operating beyond curbside pickup and delivery services, and outlawing private gatherings outright.

The desperate action comes as more than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed across all health regions for the sixth day in a row, and experts released new modelling showing how beneficial a few weeks of very stringent lockdown measures could be for virus numbers and ICU capacities.

The fact that weeks of prohibitive restrictions have not curbed virus transmission in hotspots like Toronto and Peel is not encouraging to residents who now face an additional 14-to-28 days of such lockdown depending on where they live in the province.

But one key reason reason shut downs have been so ineffective thus far is, according to Premier Doug Ford, because people are continuing to embark on non-essential travel both within and outside of the province.

"Unfortunately, despite the restrictions, we've seen growing numbers of people travelling between regions. COVID is spreading rapidly between high outbreak areas to areas with fewer cases," Ford stated at a presser today, referencing the notorious region-hopping that has been taking place in recent weeks due to some regions being less locked down than others.

He also emphasized his extreme frustration with what he sees as Ottawa's lax treatment of incoming travelers, noting that 64,000 people from international destinations went through Toronto Pearson Airport last week alone "basically unchecked," and also that roughly 25 per cent of passengers aren't properly quarantining as per national guidelines upon arrival.

"I implore the federal government to take action at the borders," Ford said. "As people are flowing in, we're doing nothing. But I can promise the people of Ontario that I'm not waiting for the federal government anymore... My concern is about international travellers: at minimum they should be tested at the airport."

Ford and his team have continued to ask Ontarians to limit their movement and stay home as much as possible, only leaving for necessary trips to get groceries, medication, or other such essentials.

With the holidays season in full swing, officials at all levels have also urged people to avoid leaving their home jurisdiction or meeting up with anyone outside of those they live with. People who live alone may be permitted close contact with one other household.

Lead photo by

CJ Burnell

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