To further contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario Government will order the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m.
Provincial officials say this closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending this order as the situation evolves.
A full list of businesses that are permitted to stay open will be released on Tuesday, March 24.
“This was a tough decision, but the right decision, as this is no time for half measures,” stated Premier Doug Ford, in a media release.
“But I have said from day one we will, and we must, take all steps necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of every Ontarian must come first. The health of you, your children, your grandparents and friends depends on all of us doing our part.”
Provincial officials say businesses that can continue operations with employees working remotely, or through other contingency measures, are being given approximately 36 hours to prepare and adapt.
Essential services may continue their operations to maintain supply chains and ensure the people of Ontario have access to necessities, including groceries, medicines and other essential products, Provincial officials added.
A 1-800 number and website will be made available on Wednesday for any inquiries.
“Based on the advice of Dr. Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the experts at our Command Table, Ontario is taking further action to contain the spread of COVID-19,” stated Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, in a media release.
“These enhanced measures are necessary to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians. Nothing is more important.”
Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, said Ontario’s top priority must be to protect the health of the people in the Province.
“Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will allow the people and the businesses of Ontario to move forward from this unprecedented situation,” he said.
Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, said the Provincial government is listening to public health officials to ensure they take the right actions to support the health and safety of Ontario job creators and workers.
“We are working directly with businesses and workers across all sectors to support them in any way possible through this crisis,” Fedeli said.
“We urge the business community to share their innovative ideas and capabilities to fight COVID-19 through our new portal Ontario Together at www.ontario.ca/OntarioTogether.”
Watch for more on this story.