It’s a different Black Friday this year in the GTA as there are strict restrictions between the second wave of the coronavirus novel.
The hustle and bustle that usually occurs on the biggest shopping day of the year is not visible today because many people are avoiding store-shopping and staying at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Some shoppers will not be able to access their favorite brick and mortar stores in person as the Toronto and Peel region is currently under regional lockdown for at least 28 days.
Two hotspots entered the province’s new COVID-19 response framework’s gray lockdown level on Monday in an effort to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Lockdown restrictions are the closure of unnecessary businesses, including many small businesses and malls, during the lucrative holiday season.
However, large box stores such as Walmart and Costo, which sell essential items such as groceries and medicine, are allowed to remain open during lockdown.
Despite public health officials urging residents to stay home as long as possible, shoppers lined up outside Walmart locations in Toronto on Friday morning to seize some of the hottest Black Friday deals.
Mayor John Tory Residents and shops were urged to avoid Black Friday sales To prevent congestion and reduce the spread of the virus.
He encouraged residents to shop and support small businesses that have been badly damaged during the epidemic.
“There is nothing against big box stores, I think the way we can help them is by buying them online from the same but small, independent stores, most of them have an online presence and by picking up the curbside and we told Tory Friday morning CP24.
The owner of Early Bird & Worm in the Roncevals area of Toronto told CP24 that she offers customers a wide variety of shopping options so her business can stay afloat during a lockdown.
“This is the second lockdown and we are trying to make as many orders as possible to the community by making email orders, telephone orders. We make local deliveries after my kids go to bed at night.
Roncewallless BIA spokesman Adam Langley said many small businesses in the neighborhood are trying to cope with the restrictions and urged residents to remember to shop locally.
“One of our mantras is that you can shop locally even when you’m online, so in the first wave most of our businesses are pivotal to online shopping and still do not provide services,” Langley told CP24.
“I think business owners are ready to fight for business. They are inside and they are waiting to hear from you and they want to get what you want for the holiday.”
Meanwhile, the Peel Regional Council approved a motion on Thursday urging the province to immediately look into ways to resolve the disparity between businesses that have had to close their doors and those that are allowed to remain open during the lockdown.
However, Motion does not limit the sale of unwanted items in large box stores Mayor Bonnie Crombie as Mississauga has argued in the past.
“Although the original wording of the motion has been modified, I am glad that it is intended to support small businesses,” Crombie said in a statement released Thursday. “What is important to me is that we have our consensus and have submitted to the United Front in the defense of our small business community.”
The Peel Region on Thursday recorded the highest number of single-day COVID-19 cases with 572 new infections, while Toronto recorded 356 cases.
Province More than 1,800 new cases and another 20 died on Friday.
GTA areas that are not in the lockdown will ask residents to stay in their area
With limited options for Black Friday shopping in stores in Toronto and Peel, officials in the nearby York region, who are at a red control level under the regional COVID-19 response framework, are concerned that many shoppers may flock to the area.
In the regulatory category, unwanted businesses, including malls, are allowed to remain open Some limitations.
On Friday morning, people lined up outside the Wagon Mills Mall just before it opened at 8am
Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua is asking people not to stay at home and shop.
“We need to focus on the defeat of COVID-19 and its transmission. When people wake up in the morning, the question they have to ask themselves is, what can I do to reduce COVID-19 transmission,” Bevilacqua told CP24.
Markham echoes the comments of Mayor Frank Scorpitti Bevilacqua and urges people not to travel outside their areas to shop in other areas.
He warned that enforcement officers would be patrolling the city this weekend to make sure businesses and residents were following the rules.
“We will be there. This weekend there is a coordination effort between the Ministry of Labor, our Baila officers and the York Regional Police, when they all need to be called,” Scorpitti told CP24.
Scorpitti said Costco and T&T in Markham have been charged with recent congestion and problems with physical distance in their stores. Penalties can range from $ 5,000 per operator per day to $ 25,000 per day per corporation.