Ontario’s stay-at-home orders will remain in place until May 20 at the earliest, as the province announces further COVID-19 restrictions across Ontario and an extension of their stay-at-home order. It was originally set to end on May 6.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement today during his virtual press conference, which was delayed numerous times.

“We’re losing the battle between the variants and vaccines. The pace of our vaccine supply has not kept up with the spread of the new COVID variants. We’re on our heels. But if we dig in and remain steadfast, we can turn this around. We’re down, but by no means, are we out.”

Ford says Ontario’s continued and ongoing lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have helped to slow the spread of the virus, but more needs to be done.

Effective April 17 at 12:01 a.m.:

- Outdoor gatherings will be limited to only those in your own household,
- All non-essential construction will close,
- All outdoor recreational areas like golf courses, basketball courts and playgrounds will close.
- Reduced capacity in big-box stores to 25 percent.
- Places of worship will have a capacity of 10 people indoors,

As of April 19, all inter-provincial borders will have checkpoints. Exceptions to the checkpoint include the transportation of goods, necessary work or medical care. Ford is also calling on the federal government to shut down international travel.

Ford notes police officers and by-law officers will be given special authorities to enforce Ontario’s stay-at-home orders.

“The restrictions will be strongly, strongly enforced because they must be. When they are followed, the public health measures work. What we need now, is for everyone to follow these rules. We need more time to continue vaccinating priority populations. Getting needles in arms will put this pandemic behind us.”

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is asked to self-isolate, get tested and remain in isolation until your test results are known.