Residents in Toronto and Peel Region are expressing support for new COVID-19 restrictions as the two hot spots begin a four-week lockdown aimed at curbing soaring rates of the virus.
Masked customers queued up outside a shopping centre in east Toronto this morning as a security guard controlled foot traffic.
Most businesses besides Wal Mart and Food Basics in the Gerrard Square mall are restricted to curbside pickup for the next 28 days under the new measures.
Following the announcement of a Toronto lockdown coming Monday, the Friday evening line-up at the Costco on Wilson near Dufferin is huge. Some customers tell me they are definitely buying extra items, others are not. @680NEWS pic.twitter.com/PClaWwKXf4
— Mark Douglas (@Douglas680NEWS) November 20, 2020
The lockdowns, which were announced Friday, also ban indoor dining at restaurants and close personal care services but schools and daycares remain open.
The Ontario Physiotherapy Association confirmed that physiotherapy services would be able to continue operations.
Mayors across the G-T-H-A – including Toronto’s John Tory, Mississauga’s Bonnie Crombie and Brampton’s Patrick Brown – are urging residents to stay in their regions and avoid Black Friday or holiday shopping in neighbouring jurisdictions like York or Halton.
“Provincial officials have been clear that residents shouldn’t be region-hopping at this time except for essential reasons, like work, school or medical appointments. The Mayors and Chairs fully support this advice in order to combat the virus,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“With Black Friday fast approaching, the Mayors and Chairs also urged retailers who remain open under the increased provincial restrictions to immediately announce they will NOT hold large in person sales on Friday.”
“Such sales would inevitably produce crowd scenes which would only serve to undermine the fight against COVID-19 and negate the sacrifices being made by so many, including other businesses,” they add.
Tory said online Black Friday shopping sales are fine but that this is not a time for people to congregate and gather into malls or stores for deals.
“No deal, no TV, no video game is worth someone else getting COVID-19,” Toronto’s mayor said.
“Please stay home whenever you possibly can.”
In Mississauga, one of the three communities that make up Peel Region, shoppers at a grocery store said they hoped the lockdown would slow the spread of the virus in their city.
Peel continues to lead the way with 535 COVID-19 new cases. An increase of 45 cases from a day earlier.
Toronto saw the biggest decrease with 124 fewer cases, reporting 336. York Region saw the largest increase of 75 cases, up to 205.
With files from The Canadian Press