Toronto and Peel residents largely shut out of Christmas shopping close to home due to severe COVID-19 restrictions could be looking to Niagara’s stores.
That’s something shoppers here should prepare for, said Dr. Mustafa Hirji, acting medical officer of health for Niagara Region.
He said it’s important that Niagara residents plan their shopping trips to avoid large crowds.
“The provincial government is pretty clear in its message, they don’t think people in those regions should be coming to places like ours where there are fewer cases,” Hirji said Sunday.
“I’m not sure that everyone is going to listen to that, and we’re likely going to see those people come.”
When possible, Niagara residents should shop at less busy times: “We’re going to protect ourselves that way,” Hirji said.
The province has put Niagara in the orange, or restrict, zone. For retail, that requires shoppers to wear masks and abide by two-metre spacing in lineups. Malls must have a safety plan.
Toronto and Peel were placed in grey, or lockdown stage. In-person shopping is allowed at a few places — grocery stores and retailers that also sell food, pharmacies and beer, wine and liquor stores and hardware outlets.