Ontario reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday for the sixth day in a row, as the number of deaths and hospitalizations continued to rise.
But the changes will be more subtle for the regions that were already under some form of lockdown, like Toronto, Peel and Hamilton.
For full details on the shutdown and other measures involved in the "emergency brake", visit the Ontario government's COVID-19 shutdown page.
The premier stressed that there are more younger people in ICUs, something the latest modelling data from the province shows.
"Please, you aren't invincible", the premier said.
"This doctor worked through the brunt of the first and the second wave, and he told us that even at the worst of these times he hadn't seen this many young, otherwise healthy people fighting for their lives because of COVID-19", Brown said.
The last stay-at-home order and state of emergency in the province lifted in mid-February.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said they are keeping a "very close eye on the situation". "I know it is hard the previous year, it is painful for everyone and it has hurt a lot of people but we have to do it and I am convinced 100 per cent that if we don't do it we will be in deep, deep trouble".
The provincewide emergency brake would put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures to help to stop the rapid transmission of COVID-19 variants in communities, protect hospital capacity and save lives.
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Essential stores would remain open with 50 percent capacity, while non-essential retail would be limited to 25 percent.
Weddings, funerals and other religious services will be capped at 15 per cent of regular indoor capacity.
While the shutdown comes with its own set of new or renewed regulations and restrictions, some of those are already in play here in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) region, where Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore has already extended a Section 22 Class Order that limits the number of people allowed to gather in one space to five, both indoors and outdoors.
What's not allowed in Ontario shut down?
Personal care services, which were supposed to open April 12th in grey zones, would have to stay shutdown. Indoor social gatherings are prohibited and outdoor gatherings will be limited to five people. "We are now fighting a new enemy". "We need more runway to allow our vaccines rollout to get where we need it and that means we need to take action now".
"We are in a desperate race right now against an extremely, extremely aggressive and fast-moving virus".
"The cost of inaction is simply too high", the premier added.
On March 19, the province announced that restaurants operating in "Red-Control" and "Orange-Restrict" would be able to open with 50 percent capacity and a maximum of 50 and 100 people indoors.
However, the province-wide emergency brake announced on Thursday - which the province is not calling a "lockdown" - does not include a stay-at-home order.