Province-Wide Shutdown

by | Dec 22, 2020 | External, GWSA News

A Province-Wide Shutdown will begin Saturday, December 26, 2020, affecting Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph for at least 28 days until Saturday, January 23, 2021. The province is reinforcing that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The current COVID-19 Response Framework will be paused when the Provincewide Shutdown comes into effect. The impacts of these measures will be evaluated throughout the 28 days in Southern Ontario (14 days in Northern Ontario) to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.
Measures include, but are not limited to:
  • Restricting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.
  • Prohibiting in-person shopping in most retail settings – curbside pickup and delivery can continue. Discount and big box retailers selling groceries will be limited to 25 per cent capacity for in-store shopping. Supermarkets, grocery stores and similar stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, will continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity for in-store shopping.
  • Restricting indoor access to shopping malls – patrons may only go to a designated indoor pickup area (by appointment only), essential retail stores that are permitted to be open (e.g. pharmacy, grocery store), or, subject to physical distancing and face covering requirements, to the food court for takeout purchases. Shopping malls may also establish outdoor designated pickup areas.
  • Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take out, drive-through, and delivery only.

All Ontarians are advised to stay home as much as possible with trips outside the home limited to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, or supporting vulnerable community members. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.

New School Protocols

All publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools are to move to teacher-led remote learning when students return from the winter break on January 4, 2021.

For schools in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph elementary school students are planned to be able to return to in-person learning on January 11, 2021, and secondary school students will continue learning remotely until January 25, 2021, at which point they may resume in-person learning. During this period, child care centres, authorized recreational and skill building programs and home-based child care services will remain open.

The New Ontario Small Business Support Grant

The government is announcing the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to eligible small business owners to help navigate this challenging period.

Eligible small businesses include those that:

  • Are required to close or significantly restrict services subject to the Provincewide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020;
  • Have less than 100 employees at the enterprise level; and
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

-Abbreviated from the Dec. 21 Provincial News Release. For complete details, read the full release at:

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/59790/ontario-announces-provincewide-shutdown-to-stop-spread-of-covid-19-and-save-lives