SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories

New lockdown measures begin in Ontario as some provinces move Boxing Day online

MONTREAL — Ontario began a provincewide lockdown today as several provinces are opting for online or scaled-down Boxing Day shopping to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The province has reported more than 2,000 cases 12 days in a row, including 2,142 new COVID-19 cases today and 2,159 cases from Christmas Day.

Under the new rules, restaurants in Ontario can only provide takeout, drive through and delivery, including the sale of alcohol.

Ontario has joined Manitoba and Quebec in closing non-essential retail stores for in-person shopping, while supermarkets and pharmacies must follow rules for distancing and limiting capacity.

The new rules are having an effect on Boxing Day shopping, which is forcing bargain hunters in many parts of the country to look online for deals instead of lining up and crowding into stores in person.

Other provinces have put limits on in-store capacity as officials urge Canadians to stay home and limit contacts as much as possible to limit the spread of COVID-19.