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May 13, 2021

Ontario stay-at-home order extended at least until June 2

Ontario Premier Doug Ford at press conference South Grey News | Ontario stay-at-home order extended at least until June 2

BY SOUTHGREY.CA SATFF — Ontario Premier Doug Ford addressed the media in a televised news conference shortly after noon on May 13. "The situation is slowly tending in a better direction," said Ford. But he went on to say, "Make no mistake. We're not out of the woods yet," as the Premier explained that hospitals are still under immense pressure and that the spread of variants remains a concern in the efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

"We need to do everything in our power to protect this summer for all Ontarians. My goal is to have the most normal July and August possible," said Ford as he extended the stay-at-home order until at least June 2. While over 130,000 people in Ontario are receiving COVID-19 vaccinations daily, the Premier suggested that if trends continue, outdoor recreation can be reopened at that time.

The Ontario Premier sympathized with those who are growing impatient with the continued lockdown but also promised more details of a planned reopening to be announced in the days and weeks to follow. Calling the desire to lift restrictions "a rush to reopen," Ford sealed the lid on an end to the current situation.

Virtual learning for Ontario students will continue. "On the one hand, you have some doctors who say we can reopen schools. On the other hand, you have teachers unions saying we can't do that right now," said Ford, describing the situation with reopening of schools in the province. "We need consensus," he concluded.

Beginning May 31, youth between the ages of 12-17 and their family members who have not yet received a vaccination, will be able to book their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. "This is our best tool to ensure we have a safe and healthy return (to) in-person learning for all teachers and students."

Ford blamed "the weak and porous border measures that the federal government has kept in place" as the one thing to threaten all progress made to drive down case numbers in the province. Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed back on Ford's claim, saying that the province has the authority to enact its own border restrictions, but has not.

"This brutal third wave has been fuelled almost entirely by variants that pass too easily through our borders," said Ford, who insists that recently, several formal requests to tighten restrictions that were made to the federal government have been ignored. "We've seen disturbing reports that over 88,000 travellers entering Canada have been able to bypass the mandatory three-day hotel requirement," he added.

When asked if he is worried about mass civil disobedience on the Victoria Day weekend, Premier Ford doubled down on his criticism of the federal government.


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