Above photo from Adobe Stock images.
The Ford government has just announced that certain regions of Ontario will begin to re-open and move into “stage two” this Friday, June 12.
Stage two will allow:
- Groups of 10 in public gatherings (instead of 5),
- Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
- Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
- Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
- Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
- Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
- Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
- Camping at private campgrounds;
- Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
- Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
- Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
- Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.
As more people begin to return to work, certain services people rely on will be available regardless of the stage a region is in. The province will soon release more details on:
- Child care;
- Summer camps;
- Post-secondary education pilots to help people graduate;
- Training centres; and
- Public transit.
“I know we’re all eager to get things back to normal and no one wants to get the economy going and get people back to work more than I do. And that means having a responsible plan, that means taking the best scientific advice and working together with out partners. It means recognizing that the situation is different in different parts of Ontario,” said Ontario Premiere Doug Ford, this afternoon during his press conference.
“And today we are taking the next step. It starts this Friday, June the 12th at 12:01 a.m., with increasing the limits from five to 10 people. I know that staying apart from our friends and loved ones has been one of the hardest parts of the last few months and hopefully today’s announcement will bring some relief,” Ford continued.
“These are important steps to getting life back to normal. But we also need to get people back to work We need to get the economy going, and to do this as quickly as possible.”
“We are moving forward with a regional approach and we are moving forward with an approach that lets us make decisions for specific parts of Ontario based on whats happening on the ground, based on the advice of the chief medical officer of health, our command table and our local public health experts.”
Most regions of Ontario will be allowed to re-open this Friday.
“Indeed in some areas there have been fewer or no new cases of this virus in recent days and weeks. That is why most of the province’s 34 public health units will transition to stage two this Friday, however where we haven’t seen our public health criteria be met and with consultation with local medical officers of health, certain public health units will remain in the first stage,” Minister of Health, Christine Elliott said.
She also mentioned the select regions that will not be moving into stage two this Friday.
“That includes those who make up the golden horseshoe: Durham, York, Toronto, Peel, Halton, Hamilton and Niagara, as well as border regions, Windsor-Asics and Lambton — as we continue to keep a close eye on essential travellers. Haldimand-Norfolk will also remain in stage one until we are confident that the impacts of an outbreak are contained and don’t extend into the broader community,” Elliot continued.
According to the Ontario newsroom press release today, public health unit regions that will be allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. include:
- Algoma Public Health
- Brant County Health Unit
- Chatham-Kent Public Health
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit
- Grey Bruce Health Unit
- Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
- Huron Perth Public Health
- Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
- Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
- Middlesex-London Health Unit
- North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
- Northwestern Health Unit
- Ottawa Public Health
- Peterborough Public Health
- Porcupine Health Unit
- Public Health Sudbury & Districts
- Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
- Renfrew County and District Health Unit
- Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
- Southwestern Public Health
- Thunder Bay District Health Unit
- Timiskaming Health Unit
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
“We are able to make this announcement today because of the extraordinary effort of our frontline workers and every other person in the province who helped to stop the spread of this deadly virus,” said Ford in a press release.
“Entering Stage 2 means parts of the province will see more people back on the job and an opportunity to get back together with friends and family. Although this is extremely encouraging, I urge everyone to exercise caution and continue to follow public health advice as we are not out of the woods yet.”