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Masked and unmasked people walk past the Hudson & # 39; s Bay flagship store on Toronto's Queen Street

George Russell

Ontario, Canada's most populous province, ordered a lockdown in metropolitan Toronto starting Monday after a record number of new coronavirus cases were reported over the weekend.

The province recorded 1,534 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, up from a record 1,588 on Saturday, prompting officials to lock down Canada's largest city.

Provincial Health Minister Christine Elliott said 460 were reported in Toronto, 490 in the Peel Region, and 130 in the York Region.

Starting Monday, all outdoor restaurants and terraces in Toronto and neighboring Peel will be closed.

"Take-out, drive-thru and delivery options remain available and are strongly recommended to support local businesses," the city said in a statement.

Toronto Mayor John Tory urged city residents to follow health guidelines as the city closed many stores. The shopping centers were closed except for important stores. Large retailers with a grocery section can stay at 50 percent capacity.

All hair salons, barber shops, nail and tattoo parlors, gyms and recreational programs are suspended.

"Residents are asked to stay at home except for essential travel for groceries, health care, child care, school and work," said the Toronto city statement.

Canada has reported more than 326,000 cases since the pandemic began, with more than 11,400 deaths. Of these, Ontario accounted for approximately 104,000 cases and 3,500 deaths.

Health officials warned of heightened threat to the country as the holiday season approached.

"Both community transmission and outbreaks are contributing to the spread of Covid-19 in Canada, including spreading to high-risk populations and environments," said Theresa Tam, the country's chief medical officer, on Sunday.

"Our best protection now and during the holiday season is to keep errands and trips down to the bare minimum, maintain personal social activities in our existing household, and maintain strict and consistent public health practices," she added.