Many shoppers are flocking to stores to stock up this weekend before Toronto and the Region of Peel enter a lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus

Queues have formed outside big box stores since Friday night, including one outside a Walmart in Eglinton and Pharmacy Avenues in Scarborough

On Saturday morning, another Walmart at Jane St and St Clair Avenue had shoppers eagerly lining up to collect their needs before the lockdown

People are rushing to stores this weekend before the two COVID-19 hotspots go into lockdown at 12:01 am on Monday for at least 28 days

Many shoppers appear to be panicking while buying and stocking items like toilet paper, like what was seen during the lockdown of the first wave of the pandemic in the spring

In anticipation of increased buyer volumes, some shopping centers are extending their opening hours this weekend

Square One Shopping Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., while Yorkdale Mall and Scarborough Town Center will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday

Yesterday Premier Doug Ford announced that Toronto and Peel would move from the red zone of “restriction” to the fifth and final gray level of “lockdown” of the province’s COVID-19 response framework as cases continue to rise increase in these regions

“The situation is extremely serious and more measures are needed to avoid the worst case scenario,” Ford said during the Queen’s Park announcement yesterday. “We cannot jeopardize classroom learning, we cannot risk widespread epidemics in our long-term care homes, we cannot risk overwhelming our hospitals To protect our most vulnerable and protect what matters most, we must contain the spread of community “

Below the ‘lockdown’ level, all gyms, recreation facilities and personal care services will be forced to close, while limiting all non-essential retail stores to curbside collection only

Essential retailers that are allowed to remain open include supermarkets, hardware stores, convenience stores, drugstores, and beer and liquor stores, but all will now face a 50% capacity limit. Schools and daycares can also remain open

It should be noted that big box stores, like Walmart, which provide groceries and other essential services will be able to remain open

Bars and restaurants are allowed to continue take-out and delivery services, but must close their terraces

The province recorded a record 1,588 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, 522 of those cases were in Peel and 450 in Toronto

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World News – CA – Buyers stock up ahead of lockdown on Monday in Toronto and Peel Region