Ontario beauty sector slams Ford for 'specifically targeting' their industry in shutdowns

Nail salon in Barrie COVID

Today, Premier Doug Ford said he is pulling the emergency brake for the entire province.

Ford noted the new variants are "far more unsafe than before, spread faster and do more harm than the virus we were fighting a year ago", and younger people are ending up in the hospital.

Without those measures, the Ontario Science Advisory Table said the province could see up to 6,000 new infection cases by mid-April.

All 34 public-health regions went into the grey zone on December 26, followed by a provincewide stay-at-home order on January 14 that suspended the colour-coded system.

For more than a week in Ontario, the daily case numbers have been more than 2,000.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford talks at a virtual news conference March 30, 2021.

"We are facing a serious situation and drastic measures are required to contain the rapid spread of the virus, especially the new variants of concern", said Ford in a news release.

The province confirmed 2,557 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday.

Non-essential retail stores are permitted to open but with occupancy capped at 25 per cent of maximum, while essential retail outlets such as grocery stores are limited to 50 per cent occupancy.

The four-week lockdown is effective April 3.

Hair salon COVID 19
Ontario to go into month-long COVID-19 shut-down starting April 3

The government started to lift the stay-at-home order in regions in February allowing them to transition back into various levels of the framework depending on local transmission.

Indoor and outdoor dining is prohibited. Our vaccine rollout is steadily increasing, and I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.

While the shutdown comes with its own set of new or renewed regulations and restrictions, some of those are already in play here in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) region, where Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore has already extended a Section 22 Class Order that limits the number of people allowed to gather in one space to five, both indoors and outdoors.

Under the new category of the response framework, shutdown is similar to the grey lockdown zone, though some services originally permitted to remain open will now be forced to closed.

"While experts were warning him of explosive growth of more infectious and more deadly variants, he cancelled public health protections", said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath in a statement.

During the emergency shutdown, schools will remain open for in-person learning with strict safety measures in place.

As of yesterday, there were 430 patients with COVID-19 being treated in intensive care units in the province, according to Critical Care Services Ontario (CCSO), the most at any single point during the pandemic.

The Spring break will also go ahead as planned the week of April 12 and Child Care will also remain open during shutdown.

The capacity limit for weddings, funerals and other religious services indoors is 15 per cent, while outside can be the number of people that can maintain two metres physical distance. "The variants of concern are spreading rapidly".

"We're now seeing a almost 14 per cent increase in hospitalizations, with COVID-19 patients in the ICU increasing dramatically", he says, adding Ontario is facing a very serious situation.

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