Ontario beauty sector slams Ford for 'specifically targeting' their industry in shutdowns

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a province-wide COVID-19 shutdown

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a province-wide COVID-19 shutdown

Ontario's beauty sector is feeling frustrated and personally attacked by the Ford government's decision to implement a four-week shutdown starting tomorrow, resulting in the closure of personal care services across the province yet again.

"We're into a third wave of COVID-19", Ford said.

The group said that COVID-19 hospitalizations are up by over 40 per cent over the past two weeks.

Health officials are set to present the latest COVID-19 modelling for Ontario this morning, hours ahead of an expected announcement that the government will impose a month-long shutdown in the province.

Two-thirds of the province's public health units are now under what the government calls lockdown (grey zone) or control (red zone) restrictions.

"That would be the reason (Ontario) would want to do that because the experts would have provided the province with advice and it would be what they determined to be the best solution for Ontario, and Waterloo Region".

COVID variants now account for most new cases, and are more contagious and deadly, according to the advisory table.

"They're all dealing with the effects of a third wave and a unsafe new variant", Ford says, adding the decision for the shutdown was "not made lightly".

"We need to take action now", says Ford, noting the situation is not unique to Ontario, as provinces across the country as well as some states are facing similar challenges".

The Ontario-wide shutdown begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.

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"We need to close the gap between where we are today and where we will be with the millions of vaccines we're expecting by June". Essential stores will remain open at 50 percent capacity and non-essential retail, including shopping malls, can operate at 25 percent capacity, reports CTV News Toronto. The shutdown is for at least four weeks and is effective April 3.

Unlike back in December, the province is not issuing a stay-at-home order for Ontarians.

Indoor organized public events and social gatherings are not permitted, and outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than five people.

"We'll make the tough decision but it's the right decision". Our vaccine rollout is steadily increasing, and I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.

Indoor gatherings are only allowed with members of the same household while outdoor gatherings are limited to five people and physical distancing must be maintained. There are also 78 confirmed COVID-19 variant cases across the region. "Even if we had unlimited ICU capacity, allowing these (variants of concern) to spread exponentially is unethical".

Restaurants are restricted to take-out and delivery only, with no in-person dining.

Schools will remain open for in-person learning, although some Ontario students have been learning virtually since September.

Child care centres, courts, government services, mental health and addictions support, social services and collective bargaining (limited to 10 people) are permitted to open.

For the past week, Ontario has reported an average of about 2,300 new cases of COVID-19 per day, including 2,333 cases and 15 deaths on Wednesday when the province hit its record high for the number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs.

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