(Bloomberg) -- Ontario is forcing most retailers to temporarily close or operate under a new set of restrictions as the province fights an accelerating wave of Covid-19.

Canada’s largest province, home to more than 14.7 million people, declared a province-wide emergency and stay-at-home order, starting April 8. Non-essential stores will be required to shut their doors, serving customers only through delivery or outdoor pickup.

The province reported 3,215 new virus cases on Wednesday and is marching closer to the peak level reached during the pandemic’s second wave in January. New variants have been rising rapidly.

Big-box stores such as Walmart and Costco will be allowed to sell only groceries, pharmacy and cleaning items. Some other retail categories, including car dealerships and telecom outlets, face new restrictions on what they can sell; some will be allowed to do business by appointment only.

“Folks please, unless it’s for essential reasons, please stay home,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said at a news conference. “We need to hunker down.”

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