TORONTO – Shoppers in Toronto flooded stores and malls on Saturday as many tried to pose a last-minute break in shopping before non-core businesses closed for nearly a month during a scheduled blockade in the city.
The Toronto and Palin Region have been locked in since Monday, closing most non-core businesses, including sitting in restaurants, gyms and hair salons. The lock is expected to last at least 28 days. Hamilton, Durham and York are located in the red zone of the province.
Department store meetings stretched the length of Toronto’s city blocks. Many said they were on holiday shopping before retailers closed.
Shopping malls, including the Yorkdale Mall and Toronto Eaton Mall and many hair salons, have extended their classes to meet high demand.
Mimi Kypreos, owner of a boutique in Toronto, said she was worried about facing an uncertain future on Monday.
“This really shook me because I survived for the first time and hugged like crazy,” Kipreos, owner of Mimi Boutique, told CTV News.
Kypreos said she was frustrated by the rules that allowed businesses to remain open under Ontario lockout restrictions.
“I can have social distance, close the doors and have one client here at the same time. So I’m frustrated that we’ve opened Walmart. How social distance in Walmart? “
Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford has urged residents to shop locally, as opposed to online or wholesale retailers, but many of those larger stores will remain open to the blockade as smaller independent businesses close their doors.
Ontario’s upcoming restrictions are designed to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Ontario broke its record for new everyday cases on Saturday along with three other provinces: New Brunswick, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Dr Lawrence Lo, a medical officer in the Peel Region, said the new lock was necessary.
“This closure is needed now to bring our communities under control to stop the flow of our hospitals and to protect our schools and homes for long-term care,” he said.
Dr Isaac Bogoh, an infectious disease specialist, said it remains to be seen what the difference is in the Ontario lock, but he is optimistic.
“It will take time to see the results of this policy implemented,” Bogoh told CTV News on Saturday.
But Colin Furnis, an epidemiologist for infection control, said he did not see the province’s decision to close small businesses while allowing major food retailers such as Costo and Walmart to stay open.
“I do not see a problem with hair stylists. I do not see a problem with small shops. “I see a problem with big stores staying open,” he said.
Markham Mayor Frank Scarpiti encouraged Ontarians to abide by the lock rules and not travel outside their home regions to shop in other areas with looser restrictions.
“The red zone is here for a reason. We must reduce the number of cases. “That is everyone’s priority,” he said.
In Manitoba, the ban on the personal sale of non-essential items was announced on Thursday and took effect on Friday.
“I urge the Winnipegers to stay home and support the locals,” Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman told CTV on Saturday. “If you have the funds, support the locals, order when withdrawing and make the purchase sooner rather than later.”
Canada reported 5,000 new cases of KOVID-19 on Saturday. As of March, more than 324,000 Canadians tested positive for KOVID-19 and 11,406 died.