Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced that most of his province will move to the next stage of reopening at the end of the week. Toronto and a few other areas will have to wait.
Ford calls it a regional approach. It means the majority of the 34 public health regions of the province will move to Stage 3: nearly all business including gyms, movie theaters and indoor restaurants will be allowed to reopen.
Toronto and its suburbs, as well as Niagara and Windsor, will remain at Stage 2 until further notice. That could come by the end of the month.
“It’s an important step in getting life back to normal," said Ford, "and this will mean expanding the limits on public gatherings in regions as they enter Stage 3. The new limits will allow up to 100 people to gather outdoors and up to 50 people indoors. At all times during these gatherings, people must continue to practice physical distancing with those outside their social circle.”
Ford said his government will not stop until every worker in the province is back to work and back on their feet.
A number of high-risk businesses and activities are still banned, including amusement parks, nightclubs, water parks, buffet restaurants, dancing in bars and restaurants and overnight stays at camps of children. Also on the list are contact sports, saunas, steam rooms and bath houses.
Ford said as more businesses and activities reopen, COVID-19 will be monitored closely and restrictions can be further loosened or tightened as needed.