Ontarians should celebrate holidays with own household only, government says

The Ontario government is urging residents to celebrate the upcoming winter holidays only with the people they live with, regardless of the COVID-19 situation in their region.

The province is issuing its initial guidance today, saying it knows Ontarians are already making their holiday plans.

It says those who live alone can join another household to celebrate, but everyone else should stick to their own household as well as following any public health guidelines for their area.

Read more: Rural Ontario regions request residents from COVID-19 hot zones to stay home

Premier Doug Ford says Ontarians just “can’t take any chances” when it comes to COVID-19.

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Toronto and Peel Region are currently under the grey or lockdown level in the province’s tiered COVID-19 restrictions system, with tougher measures to stay in place at least until the week of Christmas.

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Public health measures under the lockdown level include a ban on indoor gatherings except with those in the same household, as well as closing down restaurants for all but takeout and delivery.

The province’s top doctor said earlier this week it seemed unlikely the situation would improve in those regions enough over 28 days to warrant moving them to the red alert level, which is one level lower.

Click to play video 'Why Ontario’s Peel Region is struggling to contain COVID-19: expert' Why Ontario’s Peel Region is struggling to contain COVID-19: expert

Why Ontario’s Peel Region is struggling to contain COVID-19: expert

Five other regions — Hamilton, Durham, Halton, York and Waterloo — are currently classified as red zones, which caps social gatherings at five people indoors and 25 outdoors.

The province is reporting 1,373 new cases of COVID-19 today, and 35 new deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 445 of today’s new cases are in Toronto, while 415 are in Peel Region.

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Ontario’s most recent modelling showed the province is on track to see up to 6,500 new daily cases of COVID-19 by mid-December, though those projections are expected to be updated Thursday.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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