Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the decision said Wednesday the shutdown is expected to begin on April 3 and will last at least a month.
The so-called "emergency break" provisions take effect Saturday across the province.
Ford noted the new variants are "far more unsafe than before, spread faster and do more harm than the virus we were fighting previous year", and younger people are ending up in the hospital.
Premier Doug Ford announced he was implementing the "provincewide emergency brake" Thursday due to an increase in COVID-19 and COVID-19 variant cases. Our vaccine rollout is steadily increasing, and I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. "That is our best protection against this deadly virus".
Ontario isn't the only jurisdiction tightening restrictions as COVID cases rise.
The lockdown for Canada's most populous province will fall short of enacting a stay-at-home order, which new government modeling released earlier on Thursday suggested would be necessary to avoid a doubling to some 6,000 new COVID-19 cases per day by late April.
Ontarian's are also being asked to limit trips outside the home to necessities and employers are being requested to make every effort to allow employees to work from home.
Indoor organized public events and social gatherings are not permitted, and outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than five people.
Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15% occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors.
In-person shopping for retail establishments such as supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies is reduced to 50 per cent capacity, while the capacity limit for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, cannabis stores, hardware stores and garden centres is reduced to 25 per cent.
Ford says schools will remain open during the shutdown.
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We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety in the wake of this heartbreaking incident". Several carriages hit the walls of the tunnel when the train made impact with the truck, authorities said.