restrictions ontario

Doug Ford might be announcing even more restrictions for Ontario

Under the current emergency shutdown and stay-at-home order in Ontario, residents may be wondering what further restrictions could possibly be put in place to help curb the rising COVID-19 stats that continue to alarm health experts.

Though we may feel as locked down as we can get, Premier Doug Ford is apparently set to announce some additional measures tomorrow, which could include anything from an extension of the stay-at-home order to closing down more parts of the economy, to a provincewide curfew.

Ford and his cabinet are meeting today to weigh out potential action as daily case counts continue to surge over 4,000 despite the stringent measures that have already been in place for nearly two weeks.

Many have criticized the fact that work settings known to be ripe grounds for outbreaks and transmission, such as construction sites and warehouses, have remained fully operational during the shutdown.

The complete mess of a vaccine rollout hasn't helped, either, as Ontario and Canada in general aren't getting enough needles into arms — falling behind even the U.S., which has now vaccinated nearly 50 per cent of its adult population and whose Centers for Disease Control recently advised against travel to Canada given our rates of new infections.

Journalists have noticed a few indicators that some big news on the topic is coming: the fact that new COVID modelling projections, usually released on Thursdays, are coming out tomorrow instead, a change which seems ominous.

The province's major announcements about lockdown also usually tend to come on Friday afternoons, for whatever reason.

Along with the aforementioned potential measures could be news of interprovincial travel restrictions, which officials in provinces like Quebec and B.C. have suggested, fining those who go in to work when they can do their job from home, and greater powers granted to local police, according to early reports.

But with the population experiencing extensive COVID fatigue as we remain one of the most locked-down parts of the world (and locked down for longest), how will the government be able to enforce such measures, and will people comply?

Toronto has effectively been under a "full" lockdown since Nov. 23, after which we had a taste of "non-essential" retail shopping for just one month and patios for all of two weeks. Some businesses have been shuttered for even longer than the 20+ weeks it's been since that date.

Some would argue, though, that without stronger travel restrictions and heavy-handed rules like a curfew, our lockdowns are still "leaky."

Others would say the fact that we continue to let certain "essential" industries operate the way they have been and to let vast numbers of non-residents into the country — along with our mismanagement of the vaccine situation — should be of greater concern.

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