The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, announced it is imposing a provincewide shutdown.
According to details the government announced today, the new shutdown does not change the operations of most businesses which have been deemed to be essential services, like trucking.
While the province did slightly narrow the list of essential businesses, trucking – as well as other “businesses and facilities that provide transportation services” – will remain open.
The shutdown, which will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., effectively extends lockdowns that have been in place in five regions (Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, Windsor-Essex and Hamilton) to every region in the province. The measures will be in place for 14 days in Northern Ontario and 28 days in Southern Ontario, at which point officials will determine whether to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.
While employers in all industries are being asked to make every effort to allow employees to work from home, essential services will be able to remain operational, including trucking. Non-essential services will have to close and can remain operational only through curbside pickup and delivery.
The government also announced new support for businesses that are forced to close, but clarified that Essential Businesses that are allowed to remain open will not be eligible for this grant. More information about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant is available here.
Anyone with questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
OTA will keep members up to date as more information becomes available.
The full release on today’s announcement is here.