Canada’s Ontario province is setting up checkpoints at its borders with neighboring Manitoba and Quebec to turn away non-essential travelers, further curtailing personal freedoms in the name of fighting the spread of Covid-19.
The new travel restrictions will take effect on April 19, and only people who need to enter Ontario to work, receive medical care or deliver goods will be allowed to cross the provincial borders, Premier Doug Ford announced on Friday. Ford also extended a stay-at-home order for Ontario residents to six weeks from four weeks and gave police new powers to ramp up enforcement of his pandemic restrictions.
The new provisions toughen Covid-19 lockdown rules that Ford described as already the strictest in North America. Outdoor gatherings with people from other households are banned under the new orders, and capacity limits for large retailers will be cut to 25% of normal. Indoor religious gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 10 people, and non-essential construction projects are being suspended. There are also new restrictions on outdoor recreational venues, such as soccer fields and playgrounds.