Toronto is under a 28-day COVID-19 lockdown starting Monday. This is what it means


With the risk of overwhelming hospitals in red zones with COVID-19 patients now imminent, Premier Doug Ford is moving Toronto into a 28-day lockdown with Peel Region.

The new measures will return the city to an experience similar to the early days of the pandemic with widespread closures.

In Toronto, here’s what that means for closures and new restrictions starting at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, November 23:

  • Animal which: Owners will be allowed to visit animals housed to assist them, including stables, and veterinary clinics will be open only for urgent care.
  • Driving instruction: No driving instructions will be allowed
  • Cinema and television: Can continue production according to the rules of the red category (“control”)
  • Gaming establishments, cinemas and performing arts centers: Casinos, bingo halls and all other gaming establishments, as well as cinemas and performing arts centers must close to spectators. Rehearsals or performance of a broadcast event will be permitted. Museums must close. Zoos will be closed to the public. Public baths and sex clubs are closed, as are strip clubs (except take-out and liquor). Horse racing will not be permitted.
  • Gatherings: No private gathering inside with people from outside a household will be allowed. If you live alone, reuniting with another household is allowed. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people. Weddings, funerals and church services can continue in person if physical distance can be maintained with up to 10 people inside or outside.
  • Gyms: All gyms must close.
  • Hotels and motels: Can continue to operate with facilities like swimming pools that remain closed
  • Libraries: Branches may remain open for the pick-up and drop-off of materials, as well as the use of computers, photocopiers and similar services. Curbside pickup and delivery allowed.
  • Personal services: All services such as manicure and hair salons will be closed for all treatments. Housekeeping services including cleaning, nannies and the like will be permitted.
  • Restaurants and bars: All meals and drinks inside and outside, including the patios, are prohibited. Restaurants and bars can offer take-out, drive-thru and deliveries, including alcohol.
  • Retail stores: Non-essential businesses can provide curbside pickup or delivery only. Stores in malls may provide curbside pickup at a designated location outside of the interior of the mall. There will be exceptions for grocery stores, liquor stores, convenience stores, hardware stores, drugstores and other essential businesses (including those in shopping malls), which will remain open for in-person purchases, but must maintain capacity. by 50%. Cannabis stores can continue to operate with curbside pickup. A distance of two meters should be maintained for the lines.
  • Short-term rentals (Airbnb): All bookings made before November 22 will be honored, but no new bookings will be allowed except for those who require accommodation.



  • Sports and leisures: Indoor sports and recreational facilities must close. Outdoor sports, classes and use of equipment can continue with a limit of 10 people and a three-meter spacing must be maintained. Masks should be worn when you are not exercising. Team sports are prohibited except for training. Community centers can remain open for activities such as childcare.
  • Transit: Despite public concerns about congestion on city buses, TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said the new lockdown will have no effect on transit service. “Nothing changes,” he said. Green said the TTC will continue to aim to have no more than 15 passengers on each bus, a goal the agency meets on 93% of trips. Anne Marie Aikins, a spokeswoman for Metrolinx, said the provincial agency does not believe GO Transit service will change next week, but is still reviewing the new restrictions.

With a Ben Spurr file

Jennifer Pagliaro is a Toronto-based reporter who covers city hall and municipal politics for The Star. Follow her on Twitter: @jpags


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