Canada's most populous province of Ontario to enter lockdown from Saturday
Ontario, with a population of 14.6 million, is the first province in Canada to announce to new lockdown in the COVID-19 second wave.
The lockdown will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 26 and remain in place until at least Jan. 23, 2021 in the 27 public health units that comprise southern Ontario.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford told a press conference that the virus is spreading rapidly from areas with a high number of cases to areas with fewer cases, and the province needs to preserve capacity in its healthcare system.
"This difficult action is without a doubt necessary to save lives and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed in the coming weeks," he said. "Make no mistake, thousands of lives are at stake right now."
The lockdown was originally set to begin on Dec. 24 but was pushed back two days by the provincial government on Monday.
During the lockdown, no indoor public events or social gatherings will be allowed, except with members of the same household.