Published Thursday, April 1, 2021 5:34AM EDT
The shutdown, which is expected to begin on Saturday, will force all restaurants across the province to close for in-person dining. Gyms and personal care services must also cease operations, sources said.
Essential stores will remain open at 50 per cent capacity and non-essential retail can operate at 25 per cent capacity.
The move comes after intensive care admissions at Ontario hospitals reached a new high this week, with at least 421 COVID-19 patients currently in the ICU.
Ontario has also reported more than 2,000 new infections for the past seven consecutive days, with the seven-day average of new cases hitting 2,316 on Wednesday.
The shutdown means restaurants in both Toronto and Peel Region, which opened for patio dining just two weeks ago, will now be forced to close once again. Restaurants will only be permitted to offer takeout and delivery during the shutdown.
The new restrictions also mean that barbershops, hair salons, and other personal care services in grey zone regions will not open as planned on April 12.
The new measures will prohibit Indoor gatherings with people outside your household and outdoor gatherings will be limited to five people.
Weddings, funerals and other religious services will be capped at 15 per cent of regular indoor capacity, according to sources.
It is not yet clear whether schools will be impacted by the provincewide shutdown.
“You'll hear an announcement tomorrow but I am very, very concerned to see the cases go up,” Ford said during a press conference on Wednesday.
Ford has repeatedly faced questions about why he decided to ease restrictions across Ontario this month while the more transmissible COVID-19 variants continue to drive case counts higher.
Earlier this month, the province amended its reopening framework to increase indoor dining capacity in regions in the orange and red zones.
"We were hitting below 1,000 cases. Things were looking a little rosy," he said on Tuesday. "'But I won’t hesitate to lock things down until we can protect the ICU capacities at the hospitals.”