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Shoppers flood malls as Toronto lockdown looms

Shoppers flood malls as Toronto lockdown looms
Canada
TORONTO -- Shoppers in Toronto flooded stores andmalls on Saturday as many tried to cram in last-minute holiday shopping before non-essential businesses close for nearly a month during the citys looming lockdown.

Toronto and Peel Region are headed into alockdown as of Monday, which will shutter most non-essential businesses such as sit-down service restaurants, gyms and hair salons. The lockdown is expected to last at least 28 days.

Lineups at department stores stretched the length of city blocks in Toronto.Many said they were holiday shopping before retailers close.

Several malls, including Yorkdale Shopping Centre and CF Toronto Eaton Centre, extended their hours in order to meet the high demand.

Mimi Kypreos, a boutique owner is Toronto, said she is worried about facing an uncertain future come Monday.

This has really rocked me because I survived the first time and I hustled like crazy, Kypreos, owner of Mimis Boutique, told CTV News.

Kypreos said she is frustrated at the rules surrounding which businesses are allowed to remain open under Ontarios lockdown restrictions.

I can social distance, I can shut my doors, and I can have one client in here at a time. So Im frustrated weve got Walmart open. How do you social distance in Walmart?

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has urged residents to shop local as opposed to shopping online through big-box retailers like Amazon.

Ontarios upcoming restrictions are designed to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Ontario broke its record for new daily cases on Saturday along with three other provinces: New Brunswick, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist, said its yet to be seen how much of a difference Ontarios lockdown will make, but hes optimistic.

Its going to take time to see the results of a policy like this implemented, Bogoch told CTV News on Saturday.

In Manitoba, a ban onin-person sales of non-essential items was announced on Thursday and took effect on Friday.

Im urging Winnipeggers to stay home and support local, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman told CTV News on Saturday.

If you have the means, support local, order in take-out and do your purchasing sooner than later, so you can spread out the demand and work on those who are delivering products to our doors or curbside pickup.

Canada reported 5,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. Since March, more than 324,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 and 11,406 have died.
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