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Ontario considering implementing curfew similar to Quebec’s, sources say

Click to play video 'Possible curfew in Ontario may not address root causes of coronavirus spread, experts say' Possible curfew in Ontario may not address root causes of coronavirus spread, experts say
WATCH: As Ontario prepares for grim coronavirus modelling, sources say government officials are looking at the possibility of imposing a curfew in the province in an attempt to tackle rising COVID-19 cases. Some epidemiologists say while this measure will restrict movement, it might not address the root causes of viral spread. Katherine Ward reports. – Jan 10, 2021

UPDATE: On Monday, government sources told Global News that Ontario is no longer considering implementing a curfew. Read the updated story here. Original story is below.

Government sources tell Global News that Ontario is considering implementing a curfew similar to the one in Quebec.

The government is reportedly considering having the measures in place from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. It would mean that most residents could not leave their properties during that time.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Montreal anti-curfew protest met with strong police presence, 17 people given fines' Coronavirus: Montreal anti-curfew protest met with strong police presence, 17 people given fines
Coronavirus: Montreal anti-curfew protest met with strong police presence, 17 people given fines – Jan 9, 2021

Sources said there would be exemptions for essential workers and some others.

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Read more: Curfew ‘best of the worst options’ as COVID-19 maintains hold on Canada: experts

In Quebec, a curfew came into effect on Saturday with violators facing fines of up to $6,000. It’s set to remain in effect until Feb. 8. There are exemptions for essential workers, people walking their dogs, and a few others.

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Am emergency broadcast was sent throughout Quebec ahead of the curfew that read in part: “Citizens are prohibited from leaving their homes or yards between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., under penalty of fines. Police surveillance has been increased.”

Quebec Premier Francois Legault said the curfew is necessary to discourage mass gatherings which he said contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

Read more: ‘Most serious situation we’ve ever been in,’ Ford says as Ontario hits new COVID-19 case record

On Friday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said “everything is on the table” when it comes to new efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We will have to look at more extreme measures,” Ford said.

Sources said the government has previously considered a curfew, but ultimately decided against it. It is unclear what decision will be made this time.

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Meanwhile, Ontario is also expected to release updated COVID-19 modelling on Tuesday, which Ford said Friday would be a “wake up call.”

“When you see the modelling, you’ll fall off your chair,” he said.

— With files from The Canadian Press, Daina Goldfinger, and Travis Dhanraj

An empty Turcot Interchange is shown in Montreal, Saturday, January 9, 2021. The Quebec government has imposed a curfew to help stop the spread of COVID-19 starting at 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. and lasting until February 8. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.