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Toronto deemed ‘red zone’ starting Saturday; stricter city-imposed shutdowns in place

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Toronto moves into the “red zone” of Ontario’s COVID-19 restrictions Saturday, though the city has implemented its own set of stricter rules in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

The change comes a day after Premier Doug Ford lowered the threshold for partial shutdowns in the government’s colour-coded system for pandemic rules.

Toronto was to move to the most restrictive level short of a lockdown — even if the threshold remained higher.

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Read more: Hamilton, Halton and York entering red level as Ontario lowers COVID-19 restrictions threshold

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But the city has opted to extend earlier shutdowns imposed by the province, meaning indoor dining will still be barred, and a shutdown of casinos, bingo halls and event spaces will continue.

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Hamilton, Halton and York regions are to move to the “red” level on Monday.

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The tiered system has faced criticism since it was announced last week, with many health experts including the Ontario Medical Association calling it too lax.

Critics have noted that, among other things, indoor dining is permitted in restaurants and bars even under the red alert level.

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