The government is issuing a stay-at-home order that will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday.
Residents must remain at home at all times, with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.
"We've had the Canadian chief medical officer Theresa Tam calling for paid sick days", she said. "By doing the right thing and staying home, you can stay safe and save lives".
"These impacts affect everyone, as the health-care workforce and health system bear a heavy strain, important elective medical procedures are delayed or postponed, adding to pre-existing backlogs". "The system is on the brink of collapse". The Ford government declared its first state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 17.More news: Britain expected to ban China imports linked to Uighur camps
"If we don't move fast, our hospital ICUs could be overwhelmed by the beginning of February", he said. A total of 47 emergency orders were issued under that state of emergency. Everyone must stay home to save lives.
"Enforcement and inspections will increase".
When asked how the stay at home order differs from a curfew, like the one implemented in Quebec, Ford said he has never been in favour of a curfew and doesn't want to lose the trust of Ontarians. "As simple as that", he said.
"I've never been in favour of a curfew", he said. That is a hard lockdown. "I don't know what the premier needs to hear in order to implement this vital policy to support people's health". "Because I believe in the people of Ontario, and as soon as you tell the people of Ontario you've lost trust and there's police down the street chasing you, you might as well put in the white flag".More news: Billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson dies
Premier Doug Ford says that all enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors, will have the authority to issue to tickets to individuals found in contravention with the stay-at-home order or mask covering guidelines.
"The success of these measures will ultimately depend on you", Ford said. "It will depend on each one of you".
"This order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at limiting people's mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household", the government said in a statement.
When it comes to school, the return of students to in person-learning has been pushed back from January 25 to Feb 10 in hotspots including, Windsor-Essex, Toronto, Hamilton, York and Peel.More news: NBA Considers Pausing Season as COVID Cases Rise Among Players
Ford cited the exponential growth of new cases, the growth of admissions into Ontario hospitals, the spread of B-117 COVID-19 (the more infectious United Kingdom variant of the disease), but above all, troubling modelling data showing over one-third of Ontarians are not following public health advice.