State of emergency, mandatory shutdown of non-essential services, and lockdown, how are these different from one another?

It has been a few months since Coronavirus dominated the media. People have been all eyes and ears when it comes to breaking news.

But do we know the differences between the terms we hear and see in every media platform?

Just today, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has ordered a mandatory shutdown of all non-essential services in the province for two weeks effective midnight of March 24. What does this mean? All workplaces or businesses that do not provide financial support services, health, or food will be closed. These include:

  • casinos
  • museums
  • gyms and recreation centres
  • theatres
  • salons and spas
  • retail stores
  • tattoo and piercing studios
  • malls (except offices operating an essential service)
  • restaurants (except those offering takeout and delivery)

An official list of non-essential services will be released tomorrow.

“Does this mean we’re on lockdown?” No. Lockdown is another emergency protocol that prohibits people from leaving a specific area to protect and keep them safe.

However, Toronto and the whole province of Ontario is currently in a state of emergency — which gives the government power to deal with the situation under their jurisdiction. This is usually declared at times of natural disaster, civil unrest, or pandemic, like COVID-19.

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