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Ford Announces Shut Down of Bars, Restaurants, Gyms, Theatres, and Delay in School Reopenings

January 3, 2022

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a slew of new restrictions during an 11 am press conference on Monday, as the province faces tens of thousands of cases caused by the mild Omicron variant.

Ford said that the province faces a "tsunami" of cases, and thus, the province will close schools for in-person learning until January 17.

Bars, restaurants, gyms, and movie theatres will all also be locked down for at least 21 days.

The plan resembles the initial strategy seen two years ago to "flatten the curve," as Ford says that the spread of COVID "can't be stopped," and that the spread needed to be slowed down to help hospital capacity limits and to give boosters.

Ford added that his government would be exploring options to help impacted small businesses, who are once again baring the brunt of the government's decision.

"With Omicron surging across Ontario... Health modeling tells us we could be thousands of beds short in the coming weeks," said Ford, who said that any inaction from him would be "catastrophic."

"We've been adding new beds across the province for many months, and we'll continue to do so," said Ford.

Hospitals will also be asked to pause all non-emergency surgical procedures for 21 days.

All measures will begin on Wednesday, January 5 at 12:01 am, in what Ford calls the "modified Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopen."

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