Toronto and Peel Region enter lockdown phase of province’s pandemic plan

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Coronavirus Face Mask

Toronto and Peel Region have entered the lockdown stage of Ontario’s pandemic protection plan.

It means that for at least the next 28 days, non-essential retailers can only offer curbside pickup, while restaurants are closed to all but takeout and delivery orders in the two COVID-19 hot spots.

Personal services have also been forced to close, but schools and child-care centres remain open.

Premier Doug Ford announced the move on Friday, but it didn’t come into effect until 12:01 a.m. today.

That gave residents of Toronto and Peel the chance to stock up over the weekend — flooding local malls, even as they extended hours in an effort to prevent too many people from coming at once.

While Toronto and Peel face the strictest measures, other areas of the province are also seeing rules tighten.

Durham Region and Waterloo joined York Region in the red classification today. The rules limit restaurants, gyms and food courts to 10 indoor patrons with social distancing, with even tighter restrictions on private gatherings.

The areas around Huron, Perth, Simcoe, Muskoka, and Windsor-Essex have moved to the orange classification, which caps gatherings at staffed businesses to 50 people indoors, or four per table at restaurants.