Skip to main content

Ontario premier says 'positive news' coming this week on COVID-19 restrictions

Premier Doug Ford says his government will announce “some positive news” this week on loosening COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’ll have a good announcement by the end of the week,” Ford told Newstalk 580 CFRA’s The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll on Tuesday.

“We’ll have some positive news. I believe we’re going to make some announcements later this week about going back to other levels of restrictions.”

Ontario has been in a modified Step 2 of COVID-19 restrictions since Jan. 5, closing restaurants, gyms and other businesses, introducing capacity restrictions and limits on gatherings. The measures are scheduled to remain in effect until at least Jan. 26.

Dr. Kieran Moore, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said Monday that he was “starting to have much more hope” that the spread of the Omicron variant was slowing. But he said the decision to lift restrictions was a government one.

Ontario reported 578 COVID-19 patients in ICUs on Monday.

Schools reopened on Tuesday after shifting to remote learning for the first two weeks of January.

“There’s no one that dislikes these lockdowns more than I do. I actually despise them,” Ford said on Tuesday.

Ford responds to criticism after snowstorm

Ford said he spent 10 hours on Monday out and about in Toronto helping people who were trapped by the snowstorm.

Videos shared online showed him digging people’s cars out of the snow and towing them out with his truck.

However, the premier faced criticism for conducting a live television interview while driving, as well as giving someone a ride in his truck without wearing a mask.

Ford said Tuesday he wasn’t holding his phone while driving.

“My phone is positioned in the car, so I wasn’t driving and carrying it,” he said. “I was looking at the road and going about a mile an hour.”

Ontario’s distracted driving laws prohibit the use of a phone or other handheld wireless communication device to text or dial. You can only touch a device to call 911 in an emergency.

As for giving someone a ride without wearing masks, Ford said the man was stranded about five kilometres from home, so Ford offered him a lift. He said he kept the truck’s windows open

“It was a little different circumstance yesterday. Everyone was in desperate need,” he said. “I threw my mask on the next guy I drove.” Top Stories

Stay Connected