Ontario restricts outdoor gatherings amid Covid-19 surge

Canadian province averages nearly 5,000 Coronavirus infections a day

A healthcare worker administers a Moderna Inc Covid-19 vaccine from Humber River Hospital’s mobile vaccination clinic at the Apotex Inc. pharmaceutical facility in Toronto, Ontario, on Tuesday. Photograph: Bloomberg

A healthcare worker administers a Moderna Inc Covid-19 vaccine from Humber River Hospital’s mobile vaccination clinic at the Apotex Inc. pharmaceutical facility in Toronto, Ontario, on Tuesday. Photograph: Bloomberg

 

The leader of Canada’s most populous province says he will be limiting outdoor gatherings to those in the same household amid a record wave of coronavirus infections fuelled by variants.

Ontario premier Doug Ford said those who live alone will be able to meet someone from another household outside, while he also announced playgrounds and golf courses will be closed.

Interprovincial travel will also be limited and police will be be able to fine members of the public as part of the move, which comes after the province averaged almost 5,000 new infections a day recently.

“Law enforcement now has the ability to ask anyone outside their residence, including motorists, to indicate their purpose for leaving home and provide their address,” the Ontario Provincial Police tweeted.

But at least three other police forces in the province are declining to do random stops and Toronto mayor John Tory said he is very concerned about arbitrary stops.

Quebec closed its border to Ontario, big box stores will be limited to 25 per cent capacity while schools which are already closed will remain so as students resume online learning next week.

Mr Ford blamed a lack of vaccines for the latest restrictions but made no mention of prime minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement that Pfizer is doubling the amount of vaccines to Canada over the next month and getting millions more in May and June. – PA