News Premier announces closure of all non-essential businesses SHARE ON: ash, staff Monday, Mar. 23rd, 2020 photo supplied by Pixabay Ontario will be shuttering all non-essential businesses. Premier Doug Ford made the announcement this afternoon and says the list of businesses that must close will be released tomorrow. Those businesses will have to close on Wednesday, March 23, 2020. Ford says the decision was not taken lightly but he said in order to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19 it is essential that we stay at home. He reinforced that Ontario will not lose the battle against COVID-19 but for the health and safety of every Ontarian practice physical distancing. He spoke about a call with the province’s police chiefs, where he was told stories of snowbirds and international travellers returning home going straight to the grocery store. He pleaded with people returning to Ontario to go straight home, don’t go anywhere else, and self-isolate for 14 days. Ford says there will be a financial aid package for businesses forced to close on Wednesday.