Health officials are reminding Halton residents to maintain distancing and be patient and courteous when shopping at stores that remain open amid the second province-wide lockdown that began on Dec. 26 (Boxing Day).
In an effort to reduce crowding and limit the spread of COVID-19, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, issued instructions to owners and operators of shopping malls and retail stores.
“Owners and operators must maintain capacity limits and physical distancing in retail spaces, common areas and indoor/outdoor line-ups to create safer spaces for both employees and patrons. Our region is surrounded by areas in lockdown which will increase the number of visitors from neighbouring regions to our stores,” said Dr. Meghani.
“It is more important than ever that we follow public health measures and I am hopeful that residents outside our region stay home or shop for essentials in their own community.”
The instructions require that all persons who own or operate one or more shopping malls and/or one or more retail stores in the Halton Region actively monitor capacity to ensure physical distancing; an addition to public health measures and regulations that are already in place.
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Dr. Meghani is also reminding residents of their civic responsibilities to protect themselves and others such as being patient and courteous while shopping for essential items.
While Southern Ontario is slated to experience a 28-day (at minimum) shutdown, Northern Ontario will face a 14-day (at a minimum) shutdown.
The shutdown also includes temporary school closures until at least Jan. 11 for elementary schools and Jan. 25 for high schools.
Prior to this announcement, Halton Region was in the Red-Control level of the province’s colour-coded system in the fight against COVID-19 while Peel, Toronto, York Region, Hamilton and Windsor-Essex were already in lockdown.
Additionally, Halton Region continues to urge residents to find alternative ways to shop local and stay safe by shopping online, by phone or using curbside pick-up or delivery.
If you, or someone you know tested positive for COVID-19, self-isolate, inform your close contacts and click here for more direction on what to do next.