Ontario is finally entering Phase 2 of its reopening plan, meaning more businesses can open and the limit on gatherings is doubled. But the Toronto area will have to wait.
Starting Friday, Ontarians will be allowed to gather in groups of up to 10 people and places of worship will be able to welcome congregants again, with a 30% capacity limit across the province.
In 24 of Ontario's 34 public health units, restaurants, bars, and food trucks will be allowed to open for outdoor dining. Tour and guide services, like boat tours or wine tastings, will also be able to resume. Weddings and funerals can now take place, as long as they are capped at 10 people.
“We need to get the economy going and to do this as quickly as possible,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “We’re moving forward with a regional approach and we’re moving forward with an approach that lets us make decisions for specific parts of Ontario based on what’s happening on the ground.”
The remaining ten regions left out of Phase 2 of reopening will have to wait until their new daily case numbers consistently decrease. That includes the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, the U.S.-Canada border regions of Windsor-Essex and Lambton, as well as Haldimand-Norfolk, which has seen an outbreak among migrant workers recently.
According to Ontario's chief medical officer of health, if the remaining regions' numbers decrease consistently, they could be able to enter Stage 2 in "a week or two weeks time."