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Toronto goes into lockdown as COVID-19 cases climb

Toronto goes into lockdown as COVID-19 cases climb
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Toronto announced that it will enter a 28-day lockdown as COVID-19 cases surge in the Canadian city.

Starting Monday, residents in Toronto and nearby Peel Region in Ontario will be required to comply with new pandemic safety ordinances aimed at combating the virus's spread, CNN reported.

Businesses and restaurants will not be allowed to hold indoor gatherings, and outdoor crowds are limited to no more than 10 people to a group.

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Indoor social gatherings in homes with guests from different households will also be banned, according to Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

"We cannot afford a provincewide lockdown, so we are taking preventative action today by moving Toronto and Peel into lockdown-level restrictions," said Ford. "We need to take decisive action to stop the spread of this deadly virus."

More than 1,400 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Ontario on Friday, putting the province's total number of infections since the start of the pandemic at 100,000.

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Toronto, the largest city in the province which is home to more than 2.9 million people, broke its record earlier this week and recorded several hundred daily cases this week.

"With the numbers rising rapidly in certain regions, we have to make the tough but necessary decisions now to protect our hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and every person in this province," Ford said.

During the lockdown, retail stores will switch to curbside pickup, and restaurants will provide only takeout. Grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open at 50 percent capacity.

Houses of worship, funerals and wedding services will allow a maximum of 10 people in attendance.

Schools will remain open throughout the nearly monthlong lockdown in Toronto and Peel.

When asked whether the entire nation would enter a lockdown, Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauTrudeau says Canadians will likely have to wait until 2021 for first doses of COVID-19 vaccine Toronto goes into lockdown as COVID-19 cases climb India's prime minister says Kamala Harris's 'success is a matter of great pride and inspiration' MORE said Tuesday, "Canada is not there yet."

"I think we can work closely with the provinces to make sure we're all doing the right thing without having to go heavy handed from the federal government," said Trudeau, noting that additional regional lockdowns could ensue if further COVID-19 spikes arise.

Trudeau also discouraged Canadians from traveling to the U.S. and Mexico, citing the medical facilities that are nearing maximum ICU capacity due to an influx of COVID-19 spikes across America.

"People are safest when they stay home in Canada," said Trudeau.